Leaked GOP ACA Plan Shrinks Subsidies, Medicaid
A “discussion draft” of possible Republican legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), leaked to Politico, would dismantle the Obamacare subsidies and scrap its Medicaid expansion. The legislation would take down the foundation of the ACA, individual mandate, subsidies based on people’s income, and all of the law’s taxes. It would significantly roll back Medicaid spending and give states money to create high risk pools for some people with pre-existing conditions. Some elements would be effective right away; others not until 2020.
The replacement would be paid for by limiting tax breaks on employer-sponsored health plans— an idea that is similar to the Obamacare “Cadillac tax” that Republicans, and PIA, have fought to repeal. The proposal also includes penalties for individuals who fail to maintain coverage continuously. If their coverage lapses and they decide to re-enroll, they would have to pay a 30 percent boost in premiums for a year.
The GOP has been deeply divided about how much of the law to scrap, and how much to “repair,” and the heated town halls back home during the weeklong recess aren’t making it any easier for them.
According to the latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll, released Friday morning, the public now views the Affordable Care Act more favorably than it has since the summer of its enactment. Some 48 percent view the law favorably — up from 43 percent in December. About 42 percent have an unfavorable view of the ACA — down from 46 percent in December. The pollsters say Independents are mostly responsible for the shift. A separate poll by the Pew Research Center found 54 percent approve of the health care law — the highest scores for Obamacare in the poll's history. Meanwhile, 43 percent said they disapprove.