Republicans Release Plan to Replace Affordable Care Act

The Republican-led House of Representatives released legislation that would complete their commitment to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Key portions of the new bill include:

  • offering tax credits (ranging from $2,000 per year for people <30 years of age to $4,000 per year for people >60 years of age) to individuals earning up to $75,000 per year and married couples earning up to $150,000 per year
  • prohibiting tax credits from being used for policies that include abortion coverage
  • repealing subsidies that cover deductibles and out-of-pocket costs for low-income individuals
  • barring Medicaid from paying for services provided by Planned Parenthood
  • repealing taxes for health insurers, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device manufacturers
  • delaying taxes on high-cost, employer-sponsored group health plans

The proposed bill also drops the ACA’s individual mandate, which penalizes people without proof of insurance. A lapse in insurance coverage, though, would allow an insurer to raise the cost of premiums. No budget estimate has been provided for the cost of the proposed bill.

The bill keeps some of the ACA’s more popular provisions, including allowing people under 26 years of age to remain on parents’ health plans, banning lifetime coverage caps, and prohibiting insurers from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions.

Source: The Washington Post, March 6, 2017.