The wait is finally over. House Republicans have finally released their master plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known (to the shock of millions) as Obamacare, in the form of two bills that would replace federal insurance subsidies with individual tax credits and grants to help states create their own policies.
The Washington Post reports that separate House committees drafted the two bills, which would no longer penalize Americans for not having insurance but instead would encourage them to keep it by allowing insurers to impose a 30 percent surcharge for those who have a gap between health plans.
The biggest deal is that young adults would still be able to remain on their parents’ insurance plans until they turned 26 years old, and insurers would still be forbidden to deny coverage or charge more to people with pre-existing medical conditions. The downside is that Planned Parenthood would take a hit and would no longer be eligible for Medicaid or federal family-planning grants.
The bills were introduced Monday night, and they represent the first attempt by Republicans to abolish the ACA.
Republicans now must gain enough votes, both within the House and the Senate, to get their plan to go through.
According to the Post, four Republican senators said they would oppose any new plan that would leave millions of Americans uninsured.
“We will not support a plan that does not include stability for Medicaid-expansion populations or flexibility for states,” Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
From the Post:
The four senators were split on exactly what proposals would meet their standards, but with 52 Republicans, McConnell would not have enough votes to pass repeal without the support of at least two of them.
Democrats, meanwhile, have given no indication that they intend to work with Republicans, and top party leaders decried the GOP plan Monday as a betrayal of everyday Americans. “Trumpcare doesn’t replace the Affordable Care Act; it forces millions of Americans to pay more for less care,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.).
In particular, the plan to target Planned Parenthood has already generated fierce pushback from Democrats and doubts from some Republicans who have noted that federal funds are already barred from funding abortions and that Planned Parenthood provides routine medical care to millions of American women.
The Congressional Budget Office still needs to do an analysis on the legislation, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Monday that Republicans should not move the legislation through committees without that analysis.
“The American people deserve to see what Republicans are trying to do to their health care,” Pelosi said.