A plan to supplant the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was revealed last night by House Republicans. Among the biggest changes in the proposed legislation is the elimination of current income-based subsidies for purchasing insurance, which would be substituted with age-based tax credits.
These credits would range from $2,000 per year for those under 30, to $4,000 per year for those over 60. For those earning up to $75,000 per year, and married couples who file jointly and earn up to $150,000, the full credit would be available. For every $1,000 of income over $75,000 (or $150,000 for married couples), the credit would be reduced by $100.
The House Republicans will provide states with $100 billion, spread over 9 years, to help individuals pay for insurance. This is to counter the expected turmoil that the elimination of subsidies would cause to the insurance industry, according to the New York Times.
The expansion to Medicaid would also be halted. Since the ACA’s introduction in 2010, 20 million previously uninsured Americans have gained insurance, nearly half of these under the Medicaid expansion. The expansion provided coverage to anyone deemed eligible. This would end on January 1, 2020, and be transformed into a per person cap on funding to states, depending on how many people the state had enrolled. (Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have adopted the expansion.) Those covered by Medicaid under the ACA in the states that expanded Medicaid would keep their coverage as long as they remained eligible. After 2020, the new plan would restrict government payments only to those who were already in the program before 2020 and remained eligible.
Planned Parenthood would also become ineligible for Medicaid reimbursements or federal family planning grants, under the proposed legislation.
Under the new plan, the tax penalty imposed by the ACA on those who refused to buy insurance would be revoked. However, insurance companies would be allowed to increase premiums by 30% if an individual were to experience a gap in coverage between health plans, in effect replacing one kind of penalty for another.
Two stipulations of the ACA that would remain are the prohibition on insurers denying coverage or charging more to those with pre-existing conditions, and the ability of adults up to the age of 26 to remain on their parents’ plans.
The House Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce committees will take up the legislation on Wednesday, meaning the measure could be approved this week and the full House could act on the bill before the April 7 break. Although the Republicans hold a majority in the House, the bill, in its current form, could face resistance in the Senate, where 4 Republican senators have already declared their opposition to the plan. “We will not support a plan that does not include stability for Medicaid expansion populations or flexibility for states,” wrote senators Rob Portman (OH), Shelley Moore Capito (W.VA), Cory Gardner (CO) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY).
For more information visit HouseGOP.leadpages.co.