Congressional Republicans have just released the text of their Obamacare replacement plan after months of anticipation on both sides of the aisle. The proposed law, entitled “the American Health Care Act,” was announced in a statement by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and seeks to combat the perceived ills of former President Barack Obama’s flagship achievement.
“Obamacare is rapidly collapsing. Skyrocketing premiums, soaring deductibles, and dwindling choices are not what the people were promised seven years ago. It’s time to turn a page and rescue our health care system from this disastrous law,” the statement read.
“The American Health Care Act is a plan to drive down costs, encourage competition, and give every American access to quality, affordable health insurance. It protects young adults, patients with pre-existing conditions, and provides a stable transition so that no one has the rug pulled out from under them.”
The statement goes on to insist that the bill “will proceed through a transparent process of regular order in full view of the public,” – which appears to be a thinly-veiled jab at Obamacare, which was notoriously rushed through the Congress. (In the infamous words of Nancy Pelosi: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”)
Paving the way for Obamacare’s repeal and replacement was one of President Donald Trump’s very first actions after being sworn in, which he accomplished via an executive order that instructed states and federal agencies to shift gears on health care. However, Republicans were unable to quickly come to an agreement on how best to strike the law without creating a chaotic situation for the average American.
Among the key provisions of the bill are a dismissal of Obamacare taxes and the penalties imposed on employers and individuals for not offering or purchasing health insurance, popularly known as mandates. The bill would also replace Obamacare subsidies with tax credits for consumers and continue the expansion of Medicaid through 2020, at which point additional federal funding would cease.
The Congressional Budget Office has yet to release cost estimates related to the bill, figures that could deter the more conservative branch of the Republican party from halting the bill if it does not sufficiently reduce the government’s entitlement spending.