Now that Congressional Republicans finally have a GOP president willing to sign their policies into law, we’re about to see the first major test of whether they deliver: House Republicans have unveiled a draft of their proposed replacement for Obamacare.
The Washington Examiner has the details:
The bill puts income restrictions on insurance tax credits and drops a proposed cap on the tax break for employer-sponsored health coverage. The Congressional Budget Office has not released its estimate on how much the bill would cost. The legislation is expected to be marked up later this week.
The Republican-backed measure, called the American Healthcare Act, repeals most of the Affordable Care Act’s taxes, but at a later date than originally envisioned. It would keep the law’s “Cadillac tax” on high-cost health plans on the books, but would delay its implementation until 2025.
The tax credits proposed by Republicans would be age-based, not income-based as they are under Obamacare. But in the bill released Monday, they would be reduced for individuals earning more than $75,000 and for households earning more than $150,000. Individuals earning more than $215,000 couldn’t receive any of the tax credits.
The plan — the full text of which is available here — also eliminates the dreaded individual mandate and employer mandate, and phases out Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion over the next three years.
Republicans don’t yet have an estimate for exactly how many people would gain or lose coverage relative to Obamacare, information that is expected to come once the Congressional Budget Office scores the proposal.
Tensions are running high on the issue due to long-simmering distrust between the conservative base and moderate GOP leadership, which most recently manifested in Senator Rand Paul’s accusations that party leaders were not only planning to retain several aspects of Obamacare, but that they were crafting it behind closed doors without input from more conservative lawmakers.
For what it’s worth, the Kentucky Senator is not impressed with what’s been unveiled today:
Still have not seen an official version of the House Obamacare replacement bill, but from media reports this sure looks like Obamacare Lite!
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 6, 2017
TFPP will keep you posted as we and others get a chance to analyze this proposal in further detail.