Image Paul Ryan Obamacare repeal
(Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI)

Republican Bill to replace Obamacare adds to growing legislative agenda

House Republicans have revealed their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, via a proposed bill. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price appeared at a White House press conference today to comment. Secretary Price stated that the intent of the bill was to “make certain individuals in the market are not forced to violate their conscience.” He reiterated that the bill was the “culmination of years of concerns and frustration by the American people.”

Here are the key details:

  • Defunding Planned Parenthood: The bill would prevent federal funds from going to any organization that “provides for abortions.”
  • No subsidies for health insurance that covers abortions: The Republican bill would cut off federal subsidies to insurance policies that include coverage of abortions, according to a House Ways and Means Committee digest.
  • Eliminate penalties for individuals and employers: Any person or employer without insurance will no longer be subject to a fine.
  • “Essential” health benefit requirements would be eliminated: Hospitalization, maternity care, mental health services and other benefits would no longer be mandatory in insurance plans starting at the end of 2019.
  • Income based subsidies to be replaced by age based subsidies: Under the Affordable Care Act, subsidies were based on household income. Under the Republican bill, the subsidies would be based on the individual buyer’s age.
  • Changes in subsidy limits:  Under the ACA, subsidies were limited to $14,000 per family, with no more than five family members receiving subsidies. The new plan would limit subsidies to $4,000 per-individual.
  • Medicaid block grants: Medicaid is the program that provides health insurance to 75 million of the poorest Americans. The new Republican bill would distribute money to the states and allow them to determine how to administer the federal program.
  • All ACA taxes cut: The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the ACA would generate $346 billion in tax revenue over the next ten years, and the bill would cut all the taxes contained in the ACA.
Image Tom Price, Health & Human Services Secretary
Tom Price, Health & Human Services Secretary

The announcement follows a broad current agenda seeking to capitalize on Republican control over both the House and Senate. Current bills include:

  1. H.R. 861 – Ending the Environmental Protection Agency – Introduced by Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, and three co-sponsors, the Republican bill will “terminate” the E.P.A. by the end of 2018.
  2. H.R. 610 – School vouchers and school nutrition – Introduced by Iowa Rep. Steve King, and two co-sponsors, it would give vouchers to parents, enabling them to distribute federal funds to the schools to which they choose to send their children. The Republican bill would also repeal standards that increase the quantity of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and reduce sodium, saturated fat, and trans fat in school meals.
  3. H.R. 899 – Ending the Department of Education -Introduced by Rep. Thomas Massie, and seven others, the Republican bill “shall terminate” the Department of Education by the end of 2018.
  4. H.J.R. 69 – Hunting in Alaska – This bill has already passed the House, and would reduce the ability of the federal government to regulate hunting in Alaska National Wildlife Refuges.
  5. H.R. 370 – Repeal of Obamacare – By repealing the Affordable Care Act and a subsequent piece of amending legislation, this Republican Bill would end Obamacare by 2020.
  6. H.R. 354 – Defunding Planned Parenthood – With 136 co-sponsors, this is the Republican bill to defund Planned Parenthood.
  7. H.R. 785 – National right to work – This Republican bill would enable employees to opt out of Union dues.
  8. H.R. 83 – Sanctuary city funding – By cutting off federal funds for a year to any agency that refuses to share  information with federal immigration enforcers, this Republican bill is the response to sanctuary cities.
  9. H.R. 147 – Abortion & discrimination – This bill would criminalize seeking, coercing, or accepting payment for an abortion that is being performed because of the sex, gender, color or race of the child. The bill has 53 cosponsors.
  10. H.R. 808 – Non-nuclear sanctions for Iran – This bill would set up a separate sanctions regime for Iran, independent from the nuclear sanctions.

For a full copy of the Republican bill:

Bill proposed ACA replacement 115th Congress

 

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