Freedom Partners, a conservative nonprofit associated with the Koch brothers, urged Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price on Friday to issue more administrative actions to undo Obamacare, instead of waiting for Congress pass a bill to partially repeal the healthcare law.
Price has already issued rules that would allow states to apply for changes to their healthcare systems as well as others that prevent customers on the Obamacare exchanges from using loopholes to opt out of paying premiums. But Freedom Partners said he could do more.
"Undoing all the damage caused by this onslaught of rules and regulations will surely take time, and we commend your efforts to begin delivering relief through your market stabilization rule and by making it easier for states to apply for innovation waivers from certain Obamacare requirements," the group wrote. "However, while the pace of Congress' work to repeal Obamacare is slow, there are several other Phase II actions your office can take that do not depend on, and should not wait for, final passage of a bill."
Freedom Partners urged Price to consider several measures, including loosening the benefit requirements on insurers, allowing states to opt out of more Obamacare regulations, allowing short-term insurance to last longer than three months, and easing the law's medical loss ratio, which specifies how insurers are supposed to spend their revenue.
Price and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., have said that the passage of a reconciliation bill is the first of three phases in Republican healthcare efforts. "Phase II" involves actions by HHS to reduce the regulatory burden of the law, and the third phase is consideration of additional legislation to implement Republican ideas on how to improve the healthcare system.