Republicans in the US House of Representatives on Monday released a long-anticipated legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, the health care law crafted and implemented by former US president Barack Obama.
During his election campaign, President Donald Trump repeatedly promised to repeal Obama's signature health care legislation. The plan presented by Republicans is not Trump's and received a tentative nod of approval from the White House.
Trump, himself, has yet to outline his plan to replace Obamacare. One of his first acts as president was to enable federal agencies to slowly limit the public health plan which allows millions to benefit from medical insurance.
The 66-page legislation put forth by the Republicans in the House of Representatives neglects to mention the cost of repealing Obamacare.
The Grand Old Party's plan to repeal Obamacare
The proposal would freeze enrolment in Obamacare's expanded Medicaid program on January 1, 2020.
States that expanded Medicaid could still sign up individuals until the end of 2019, and continue to receive enhanced federal funds for them thereafter, Republican aides said. But going forward, federal funds for Medicaid would be capped.
Instead of offering a household income-based tax credit like the ACA does, the GOP's legislation will create an age-based tax credit. The tax credits begin at $2,000 for citizens in their 20s and gradually increase to $4,000 for others over age 60.
The proposal would immediately repeal the penalty for the individual and employer mandates to buy insurance.
The plan would not eliminate the most popular Obamacare provision that hinders insurers from denying coverage to, or charging higher rates for, people with pre-existing health conditions.
It also does not call for putting out of action the provision that young people can be covered by their parent's health insurance plans until they reach the age of 26.
Here is a short summary by the LA Times of what the Republicans plan includes:
Democrats have warned that Republicans risk throwing the entire US health care system into chaos by repealing Obamacare, which was passed by congressional Democrats over united Republican opposition.
Two House committees will begin voting on the 123-page legislation on Wednesday.