House GOP Reveals ACA Replacement Plan
House Republicans unveiled their much anticipated health law replacement plan Monday, slashing the law’s Medicaid expansion and scrapping the requirement that individuals purchase coverage or pay a fine. But they opted to continue providing tax credits to encourage consumers to purchase coverage, although they would configure the program much differently than the current law.
The legislation would keep the health law’s provisions allowing adult children to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until age 26 and prohibiting insurers from charging people with preexisting medical conditions more for coverage as long as they don’t let their insurance lapse. If they do, insurers can charge a flat 30 percent late-enrollment surcharge on top of the base premium, under the Republican bill. Read more about the GOP plan from the non-partisan Kaiser Health News.
The legislation has been the focus of intense negotiations among different factions of the Republican Party and the Trump administration since January. Complicating the effort is the fact that Republicans have only 52 seats in the Senate, so they cannot muster the 60 necessary to overcome a Democratic filibuster. That means they must use a complicated legislative strategy called budget reconciliation that allows them to repeal only parts of the ACA that affect federal spending.
Some conservative Republicans such as Sen. Rand Paul (KY) have criticized the new GOP plan as “Obamacare Lite,” while Democrats quickly condemned the bill.
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Both the Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees are scheduled to mark up the legislation Wednesday. The committees do not yet have any Congressional Budget Office analysis of how much the legislation would cost or how many people it would cover.