By: Zack Duvall
Republican lawmakers took the first steps in replacing The Affordable Care Act, also known as ‘Obamacare’ Monday, by releasing their first proposal replacement healthcare plan.
“Today marks an important step towards restoring healthcare choices and affordability back to the American people.” A White House statement released Monday said.
The plan put forward by Republicans would immediately repeal the mandates associated with the penalties of not signing up for health insurance under the ACA. It would also end the Medicaid expansion program effective on January 1, 2020, with a cap on Medicaid being put in place after that date. The final major ‘repeal’ factor of the new proposal is that is would abolish the income-based subsidies low income households were being issued to purchase insurance with under ‘Obamacare’.
The new plan would offer Americans an age-based tax credit every year that Americans would use to help purchase health coverage, and would also keep two key components of the ACA. The first being the ability of young adults up to the age of 26 to be allowed to stay on their parent’s healthcare plans, and the second component that is carried over from the ACA is the stipulation that insurers can’t deny or charge more for health coverage of patients with pre-existing conditions.
The Republican backed plan came under immediate fire from congressional Democrats, and some moderate Republicans as well over concerns that it would leave millions of American covered under the Medicaid expansion without coverage, and with costs of the plan unknown, may cost too much depending on the size of the tax credits issued.
“Trumpcare doesn’t replace the ACA, it forces millions of Americans to pay more for less care.” Democratic minority leader Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said of the proposed plan in a written statement Monday afternoon.
Other early critics of the new plan included Craig Garthwaite of Northwestern University who said that the proposed tax credits of roughly $2000-$4000 were “not enough for a low-income person to afford insurance.”
Supporters of the proposed replacement, to a healthcare law that even Democrats admit is failing Americans across the country, say that the new plan will allow choice to drive down prices of insurance plans, and that healthy Americans will no longer be subject to higher rates and premiums because of the number of sick patients on federal plans.
“Our legislation transfers power from Washington back to the American people.” Kevin Brady, the Chairman for the House Ways and Means Committee said of the proposal.
Debate over the legislation is just beginning with the proposed law set to be the center of review done by at least two congressional committees this week alone.