Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Republicans Release Their Obamacare Replacement Plan With Unspecified Costs And Unknown Coverage Numbers

House Republicans released draft legislation Monday to replace former president Barack Obama’s signature health care law. In the draft they propose phasing out the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion and change the law's subsidies for private insurance.

So how does the bill that Trump promised provide "insurance for everybody" that was "much less expensive and much better."?

The short answer: Not real good.

The bill's sketchy details do not say how many people would have coverage compared with Obamacare and that federal support would be reduced which would allow Republicans to repeal the law's tax increases on the wealthy, insurance companies, drugmakers and others.

You know, their donors.

The bill would also repeal the requirements that most people buy insurance and larger employers provide it.

Though it states that it would still allow adult children to stay on their parents' plans until age 26 and keep the popular feature barring insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing health problems, it makes mention no of how it would pay for such provisions.

The bill also introduces a penalty to keep people from buying coverage only when they need it where insurers could raise premiums 30% for those who do.

Here are some of the particulars...

• The bill would provide tax credits that could be obtained in advance for people to buy insurance based on age. Under Obamacare, people get subsidies to buy health insurance based on income. 

• Under the GOP plan, 20-year-olds could get tax credits worth $2,000, and the credits would grow the older a consumer gets. A 60-year-old could get a $4,000 tax credit.

• The tax credits would start to be reduced for a person making more than $75,000 and for a couple making more than $150,000 to ensure that high-income patients' insurance wasn't being federally subsidized. 

• The bill would expand the incentive to use so-called health savings accounts by doubling the allowed contribution to more than $6,000 per person and $13,000 for a family. 

• In 2020, Medicaid expansion would be frozen and new people would be barred from enrolling under the income-based system. The new way to provide coverage would allow states to implement eligibility based on population, essentially putting capping the number of people who could enroll in the government program for low-income people. 

Oh yeah, the measure would also strip funding for Planned Parenthood for one year.

The misguided legislation is already under attack not only from Democrats but from Republicans who have raised concerns about eliminating coverage for millions of people who got coverage under the bill's expanded Medicaid eligibility.

The item that concerned the staunchest of Republicans involved the replacement tax credits the bill provided to help people buy insurance which they view as just another entitlement program.

In short this bill would strip coverage from millions of people and drive up consumer costs.

Check out the GOP bill through the link below and see if the arithmetic adds up for you...

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