House Republicans on Monday released long-anticipated legislation to supplant the Affordable Care Act with a more conservative vision for the nation’s health care system, replacing federal insurance subsidies with a new form of individual tax credits and grants to help states shape their own policies.
Under two bills drafted by separate House committees, the government would no longer penalize Americans for failing to have health insurance but would try to encourage people to maintain coverage by allowing insurers to impose a surcharge of 30 percent for those who have a gap between health plans.
The legislation would preserve two of the most popular features of the 2010 health-care law, letting young adults stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26 and forbidding insurers to deny coverage or charge more to people with pre-existing medical problems. It would also target Planned Parenthood, rendering the women’s health organization ineligible for Medicaid reimbursements or federal family planning grants — a key priority for anti-abortion groups.
The debate, starting in House committees this week, is a remarkable moment in the annals of government health-care policymaking. The Affordable Care Act, former president Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement passed in 2010 only with Democratic support, ushered in the most significant expansion of insurance coverage since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs of the mid-1960s. …
Reprinted from The New York Times by
House Republicans unveiled their long-awaited plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, scrapping the mandate that nearly all Americans have health insurance and replacing it with a system of tax credits aimed at enticing Americans to purchase health care on the open market.
The bill’s unveiling set the stage for a bitter and consequential debate over the possible dismantling of the most significant health care law in a half-century. Republicans hope to undo major parts of President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement, including income-based tax credits that help millions of Americans afford insurance, taxes on people with high incomes and the penalty for people who do not buy health coverage.
Under the Republican plan, the income-based tax credits would be replaced with credits that would rise with age. In a late change, the plan was also expected to include language limiting who is eligible for the tax credits, so that affluent Americans would not receive them. …
Reprinted from The Washington Post by James Hohmann on March 7, 2017.
What was released last night has not been scored by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. This is a big deal because both House committees with jurisdiction plan to take up the legislation tomorrow and advance the overhaul without this kind of formal analysis.