December 8, 2022

The Patient Freedom Act: A Roadmap for ObamaCare Opponents if Plaintiffs Win in King v. Burwell

Patient Freedom Act Moves Us Toward A Free-Market Health Care System

In Addition to Good Policy, the Bill is also Politically Savvy

Washington, DC – “The Patient Freedom Act provides a very good way forward should the plaintiffs win in King v. Burwell,” says Dr. David Hogberg, senior fellow for health care policy at the National Center for Public Policy Research.

King v. Burwell is the major ObamaCare case currently at the Supreme Court. An opinion in the case will be handed down before the end of June.

“Initially the big focus will be on the roughly seven million people in about 37 states who would lose their subsidies,” says Dr. Hogberg. “The Patient Freedom Act provides temporary relief for them and then starts moving our health care system in the direction of free markets.”

The Patient Freedom Act is advanced by Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Representative Ralph Abraham (R-LA). It has nine cosponsors, including Senate leaders Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and John Cornyn (R-TX).

In his new National Policy Analysis paper entitled “The Patient Freedom Act: A Roadmap for ObamaCare Opponents if Plaintiffs Win in King v. Burwell,” Dr. Hogberg explains how the Patient Freedom Act is both good policy and good politics.

It turns the subsidies back on through 2015. The next year, states have three choices: 1) do nothing; 2) establish a state exchange; or 3) opt in to the Patient Freedom Act.

The third option gives states access to the same amount of money they would have received under ObamaCare for exchange subsidies and the Medicaid expansion. But, under the Patient Freedom Act, states would have to give the money directly to individuals and families in the form of a “health savings deposit.”

“That gives far more freedom to the individual,” said Dr. Hogberg. “He can save the health savings deposit and use it to purchase care directly or he can purchase health insurance.

“Further, insurers will be able to offer and consumers will be able to buy insurance free of ObamaCare’s costly mandates. Want to purchase a policy without maternity coverage? Insurers will now be able to offer that option.”

This bill is also politically savvy, says Dr. Hogberg. “It gives Congressional Democrats ‘middle ground’ while making Republicans look reasonable compared to President Obama, who will almost surely dig in his heals and insist on nothing more than turning the subsidies back on.”

Democrats who are wary of ObamaCare’s electoral impact will have a way to say they voted for a bill that gives states more options, yet still allows them to save face with their base by saying they voted for a bill that lets states keep an ObamaCare exchange if they wish.

For Republicans, it allows them to help the people who lost subsidies quickly, while also saying that they are giving states options other than ObamaCare.

“If Republicans insist that they are the ones open to discussion, that they want to give states alternatives–in other words, if they play their cards right — they could use it to portray Obama as the one who is stubborn and unwilling to come to the table to fix health care policy,” says Dr. Hogberg.

David Hogberg is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research. He is author of the forthcoming book Medicare’s Victims: How the U.S. Government’s Largest Health Care Program Harms Patients and Impairs Physicians.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for free issue alerts here.


If Plaintiffs Prevail in King v. Burwell, There’s a Dozen Free-Market Alternatives to ObamaCare

Not So Fast, Liberal Media: There are a Dozen Free-Market Alternatives to ObamaCare

If Plaintiffs Prevail in King v. Burwell, Conservatives and Libertarians Have Many Health Care Reform Options from Which Congress Can Choose

All Proposals Would Help People who Lose Subsidies They Improperly Received from Obama Administration Under ObamaCare

Media Claims That Political Right Has Developed No Plans To Replace ObamaCare Are Nonsense

Washington, DC – As the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments March 4 in King v. Burwell, the National Center for Public Policy Research announces the release of a spreadsheet detailing the many health care reform plans that have been developed by conservatives and libertarians as possible alternatives to ObamaCare.

If the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell succeed, millions of people who purchased their health insurance via the federal ObamaCare exchanges will lose their taxpayer-supplied subsidies. Each of these dozen plans offers them a promising alternative.

“The political left is trying to scare people by saying that the political right has no plan to help those people if they lose their subsidies,” says Dr. David Hogberg, health care policy analyst at the National Center. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

A new National Center study by Dr. Hogberg includes an easy-to-access spreadsheet at that summarizes a dozen plans from conservative and libertarian think-tanks and Congressional Republicans offering free-market alternatives to ObamaCare. The spreadsheet explains how each plan treats vital health care policy issues such as tax credits, pre-existing conditions, Medicaid and Health Savings Accounts.

“There are a lot of great ideas out there, from the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute to Rep. Tom Price and the Republican Study Committee,” said Dr. Hogberg. “Unfortunately, most of the media has ignored them, so most Americans are unaware that free-market alternatives to ObamaCare exist.”

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known colloquially as ObamaCare, states that only people enrolled in state-based exchanges are eligible to receive taxpayer-paid subsidies to help them pay for their health insurance premiums. Despite this, the Obama Administration has paid subsidies to people who purchased insurance on the federal exchange as well. King v. Burwell challenges the Obama Administration’s practice of allowing subsidies to flow to federal exchanges.

“King v. Burwell could give Congress a big opportunity to move the nation away from the disaster that is ObamaCare and toward a free-market health care system that would make health care and health insurance more affordable for everyone,” says Dr. Hogberg. “And as the dozen plans show, there are ways to do it that will help people on the federal exchanges who could lose subsidies.”

To review the dozen free-market alternatives to ObamaCare spreadsheet, please visit and for a review of the terms used in the spreadsheet, please visit

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