Romney Vows Repeal of ‘Obamacare,’ Promises to ‘Replace’ It — But With What?

A presidential nominee acceptance speech probably is not the place to explain how you plan to fix healthcare in the United States, but Mitt Romney last night offered zero detail on what he would put in place of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The official party platform, on the other hand, covers many facets of the US healthcare system and what the Republicans plan to do. “A Republican President, on the first day in office, will use his legitimate waiver authority under that law to halt its progress and then will sign its repeal,” states the platform. The Republicans in Congress and the president, should Romney win, will replace the ACA with a mixture of regulations for insurers, legislation that encourages personal responsibility for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, tort reform, price transparency, and tax breaks for the self-insured.

What follows are excerpts from the platform relevant to healthcare, unfiltered.

Student Loan ARM Firm Loses Debt Collection Letter Appeal

A federal appeals court Thursday ruled against a student loan debt collector in an FDCPA case over the wording in a collection letter cautioning consumers that student loans are not eligible for discharge in bankruptcy proceedings. A lower court had ruled in the collection agency’s favor, in part, because the consumer specifically noted that the debt was not dischargeable in a previous bankruptcy filing.

Expansion of High-Deductible Plans Increases Importance of Patient Financial Services

No one expects the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to be a panacea for the healthcare provider revenue cycle, but based on an analysis of recent research, patient financial services will become even more critical to the financial health hospitals and other providers.

Because healthcare reform expands the umbrella of Medicaid coverage to the poor and provides low-cost insurance to the under-employed, this will be good news to a provider’s bottom line. But any positive gain stands to be offset by what recent research indicates is a growing challenge, namely that of those with insurance, one in five will have trouble paying medical bills.