The Republicans have finally revealed their much-awaited legislation for replacing the Affordable Care Act. The health bill, named American Health Care Act, aims in phasing out key aspects of the law over a course of several years as the stalemate between the moderates and the conservatives in the party continues.
The American Health Care Act has numerous proposals that include a refundable and age-based tax credit to aid people in opting insurance. This would also eliminate the requirement to have coverage and the taxes used for funding the law in 2010. Furthermore, several expansion and improvements of Medicaid are also suggested in the bill and will be phased out in the coming years.
However, it is still unclear whether the proposal can harness any kind of support from the House conservatives or pass in the Senate. This is due to the marginally thin support that the Republicans have in the House at present. President Donald Trump’s little involvement other than tweets and promises for a better healthcare option has thus avoided the detailed policy proposals being laid out for the bill.
The proposal represents a comprehensive glimpse at the Republican Party’s approach to replacing the health law, which has brought an estimated 20 million people in its coverage. It is seen as an attempt to pacify the different factions within the party. It has enabled the conservatives to push for a full and immediate repeal, which however has raised concerns among the moderate factions. They claim that such sudden changes can fling people out of the coverage right way, specifically to those under Medicaid.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, (R-WV) said, “It looks like they’ve moved toward a better transition period, more flexibilities for the governors and ability for the Medicaid expansion population to have the assurance that they’re not going to be left out in the cold.” House Speaker Paul Ryan also asserted that the plan could “drive down costs, encourage competition and give every American access to quality, affordable health insurance.”
However, the Republicans have presented themselves a risk in moving the bill forward due to the absence of any estimates regarding the costs of the bill and the amount of people it can cover. The plans that have been put forward for the proposal insists it would be paid off by the eventual repeal of Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid, cutting insurance subsidies and by the delayed keeping of a tax on high-cost insurance plans.