House Republicans unveiled their long-anticipated plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Monday afternoon.
The proposed legislation, dubbed “The American Health Care Act,” proposes scrapping the individual mandate that penalizes people who go without coverage in favor of a new system of tax credits intended to induce Americans to buy insurance on the open market. But people who let their health insurance coverage lapse could see a significant penalty. To keep people from buying coverage only when they need it, insurers could raise premiums 30% for those jumping back into the market.
Under the plan, the income-based tax credits provided under ACA would be replaced with credits that would rise with age. In a late change, the Times notes the plan reduces the tax credits for individuals with annual incomes over $75,000 and married couples with incomes over $150,000.
The proposed bill would keep the popular Obamacare provision barring insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, and from imposing lifetime coverage caps. It would also keep the rule allowing young adults to remain on their parents’ health plans up to age 26.
The bill would also roll back the expansion of Medicaid that has provided coverage to more than 10 million people in 31 states, effective in January 2020. Larger employers would no longer be required to offer coverage to full-time employees.
It would also provide states with $100 billion to create programs for patient populations such as high-risk pools.
The New York Times reports that both the House Ways and Means Committee and Energy and Commerce Committee plan to take up the legislation on Wednesday. The two committees plan to vote on the legislation without having estimates of its cost from the Congressional Budget Office House, the Times said. Republicans hope the committees will approve the measure this week, which would clear the way for the House of Representatives to act on it before its spring break starting on April 7.
- READ THE PROPOSED LEGISLATION: The American Health Care Act
Here’s a look at what politicians are saying so far…
• “Our wonderful new Healthcare Bill is now out for review and negotiation. ObamaCare is a complete and total disaster – is imploding fast!” “Don’t worry, getting rid of state lines, which will promote competition, will be in phase 2 & 3 of healthcare rollout.” “I am working on a new system where there will be competition in the Drug Industry. Pricing for the American people will come way down!”
– 3 new Tweets from @realDonaldTrump
• “Obamacare is rapidly collapsing. Skyrocketing premiums, soaring deductibles, and dwindling choices are not what the people were promised seven years ago. It’s time to turn a page and rescue our health care system from this disastrous law. The American Health Care Act is a plan to drive down costs, encourage competition, and give every American access to quality, affordable health insurance. It protects young adults, patients with pre-existing conditions, and provides a stable transition so that no one has the rug pulled out from under them. Working together, this unified Republican government will deliver relief and peace of mind to the millions of Americans suffering under Obamacare. This will proceed through a transparent process of regular order in full view of the public.”
– House Speaker Paul Ryan
• “Our legislation transfers power from Washington back to the American people. We dismantle Obamacare’s damaging taxes and mandates so states can deliver quality, affordable options based on what their patient populations need, and workers and families can have the freedom and flexibility to make their own health care choices.”
– Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee
• “Obamacare has proven to be a disaster with fewer options, inferior care, and skyrocketing costs that are crushing small business and families across America. Today marks an important step toward restoring health care choices and affordability back to the American people.”
– White House statement delivered by Press Secretary Sean Spicer
• “Republicans will force tens of millions of families to pay more for worse coverage — and push millions of Americans off of health coverage entirely… The GOP plan to #MakeAmericaSickAgain will do massive damage to millions. (Read her complete statement here).
– House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
• “Obamacare is a sinking ship, and the legislation introduced today will rescue people from the mistakes of the past… Our plan removes #Obamacare taxes and mandates, while offering tax credits to help Americans afford coverage.”
– House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)
• “Trumpcare doesn’t replace the Affordable Care Act, it forces millions of Americans to pay more for less care… This bill is a giveaway to the wealthy and insurance companies at the expense of American families, and Senate Democrats will work hard to see that it is defeated.”
– Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)
“Congressional Republicans are leading a desperate forced march to pass a dangerous bill written in secret which few members of Congress have seen, let alone read.”
– Senator Ron Wyden (R-Ore.)
Thoughts or comments? Please visit this thread: The Dismantling of Obamacare – Ongoing updates
• New York Times: House Republicans Unveil Plan to Replace Health Law