In November, 1993, Sen. John Chafee, R-R.I., introduced what was considered to be one of the main Republican health overhaul proposals: "A bill to provide comprehensive reform of the health care system of the United States."
Titled the "Health Equity and Access Reform Today Act of 1993," it had 21 co-sponsors, including two Democrats (Sens. Boren and Kerrey). The bill, which was not debated or voted upon, was an alternative to President Bill Clinton's plan. It bears similarity to the Democratic bill passed by the Senate Dec. 24, 2009, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Here is a summary of the 1993 bill:
Title I: Basic Reforms to Expand Access to Health Insurance Coverage and to Ensure Universal Coverage - Subtitle A: Universal Access - Provides access to health insurance coverage under a qualified health plan for every citizen and lawful permanent resident of the United States.
(Sec. 1003) Establishes a program under which persons with low incomes (and who are not eligible for Medicaid) will receive vouchers to buy insurance through purchasing groups
(Sec. 1004) Requires each employer to make available, either directly, through a purchasing group, or otherwise, enrollment in a qualified health plan to each eligible employee.
Subtitle B: Qualified General Access Plan in the Small Employer and Individual Marketplace- Requires the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to develop specific standards
to implement requirements concerning: (1) guaranteed eligibility, availability, and renewability of health insurance coverage
; (2) nondiscrimination based on health status
; (3) benefits offered; (4) insurer financial solvency; (5) enrollment process; (6) premium rating limitations; (7) risk adjustment; and (8) consumer protection.
(Sec. 1119) Requires each qualified general access plan to: (1) establish and maintain a quality assurance program and a mediation procedures program; and (2) contain assurances of service to designated underserved areas.
(Sec. 1141) Provides for the formation of purchasing groups by individuals and small employers.