Published: Sun, February 19, 2017
National | By Traci Kelley

Paul Ryan: GOP to introduce Obamacare 'repeal/replace' bill after break

Ryan, Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden, and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady on Thursday presented to the Republican Conference their vision for a "repeal plus" health care bill that would undo most of the Affordable Care Act and set up some pieces of a yet undeveloped Republican replacement. He has said, during his candidacy that he would "repeal and replace" the law with "something far better". Currently, the federal government pays the full cost of a state's expansion in the first three years beginning in 2014, with its contribution decreasing to 90 percent by 2020.

The Republican proposal would also create a "portable", age-based monthly tax credit for use in purchasing health insurance.

Representative Dave Brat of Virginia said, "The refundable tax credit piece is problematic because then you'll have health care run at the federal government level where everything is insolvent".

However, if the mandate is eliminated while coverage for preexisting conditions is maintained, many healthy people will likely drop coverage - skyrocketing the price of insurance.

The replacement proposal, introduced by Sen. The GOP has repeatedly failed for seven years to rally behind a substitute plan on replacing a law that has extended coverage to 20 million Americans. But there's no indication how big those tax credits will be.

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The continued discord seven weeks into the new Congress brought into high relief Republicans' struggle to get on the same page to fulfill their most basic campaign pledge - a task that is turning out to be more complicated than they imagined. These included making it harder for people to sign up for coverage outside of open enrollment periods and eased IRS enforcement of fines for people who don't buy insurance.

The 2,409 pages of H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, are displayed for a photograph in 2010 in NY. She said for Republicans promising for decades to improve the nation's fiscal health, that choice "is going to look hypocritical". That's a policy with limited benefits that pays major bills from a serious illness or accident. These tax-free accounts are a favorite among conservatives because they encourage people to plan for their health spending and to shop around for low prices.

PAUL HOWARD: The current, open-ended match system for Medicaid encourages an bad lot of state shenanigans. It would roll back the generous cost sharing for states that expand eligibility and give states either a fixed sum per beneficiary or a block grant. Lastly, the Republicans laid out a plan for so-called "State Innovation Grants". "On its current path, the Medicaid program is on unsustainable financial footing", the new G.O.P. paper says.

"It's not a huge principle issue with me", says Jonathan Goodman, president of the Goodman Institute for Public Policy Research, who has worked with multiple Republican legislators on replacement plans. And it's not clear how much will end up becoming law.

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