The Republicans Say: “We’re delivering on our promises to repeal and replace Obamacare with President Trump’s proposed health care reforms.” But many are very unhappy with the bill, for different reasons.
A major problem is that cash subsidies will be replaced with tax credits, which don’t help the poor. So many will be unable to afford healthcare, even if plans are made available.
These credits will be available according to age, not income level, and capped at $4,000 per year for those approaching 60 years old. So that means this group will be unable to afford insurance at all.
Medicaid Will be Reduced for All
Also, Medicaid expansion will be discontinued, and in 2020 there will be caps set or state block grants that will reduce coverage for Medicaid recipients.
False Logic on the Cost of Insurance
The promise for the benefits of competition by allowing “insurance across state lines” is overstated. In fact, there is nothing in the current law that prevents this from being done. The resistance is from state insurance commissions, who want to maintain and control the insurance products offered to state residents. This talking point is not going to solve the cost of insurance for healthcare, which increases more than the cost of living.
In addition, the total cost of healthcare and health insurance has risen less since Obamacare was passed than in a comparable prior period. Trump often cites one state (Arizona) where costs rose 125% last year. But that was just one state, and one year. It doesn’t take into consideration the average of all states over the last 6 years. The costs under Obamacare was about 20% less than the same period before Obamacare passed.
Tax Savings Benefit the Rich
While the individual mandate (where individuals are taxed or penalized if they do not buy insurance) will be discontinued, there is no replacement for the lost revenue. And worse, the tax savings are passed on to the very wealthy.
Now here’s what the Republican website claims:
Obamacare is hurting more people than it is helping, forcing Americans to buy insurance they don’t like, don’t need, and cannot afford.
- Premiums have increased by an average of 25 percent this year.
- Nearly 1/3 of all U.S. counties have only one insurer offering plans on their state’s exchange.
- 34 percent fewer doctors and other health care providers accept Obamacare insurance compared to private insurance.
President Trump called on Congress to “act decisively” to rescue Americans from this failing law, and House Republicans are answering his call.
More than eight months ago, we outlined our vision for repealing and replacing Obamacare in A Better Way. Since then, we have been talking with our constituents and colleagues about how to turn these solutions into policies that will improve lives.
Now, House Republicans are moving forward with fiscally responsible legislation to deliver relief from Obamacare’s taxes and mandates and lay the groundwork for a 21st century health care system.
Specifically, the primary Committees with jurisdiction over health care—Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce—have released legislation that not only repeals the law, but replaces it with reforms President Trump laid out.
Taken together, here’s what our combined legislation will do:
Dismantles the Obamacare taxes that have hurt job creators, increased premium costs, and limited options for patients and health care providers—including taxes on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, health-insurance premiums, and medical devices.
Eliminate the individual and employer mandate penalties, which forced millions of workers, families, and job creators into expensive, inadequate Obamacare plans that they don’t want and cannot afford.
PRESERVE VITAL PATIENT PROTECTIONS
Prohibit health insurers from denying coverage or charging more money to patients based on pre-existing conditions.
Help young adults access health insurance and stabilize the marketplace by allowing dependents to continue staying on their parents’ plan until they are 26.
ADVANCE 21ST CENTURY REFORMS PROPOSED BY PRESIDENT TRUMP
Establish a Patient and State Stability Fund, which provides states with $100 billion to design programs that meet the unique needs of their patient populations and help low-income Americans afford health care.
Modernize and strengthen Medicaid by transitioning to a “per capita allotment” so states can better serve the patients most in need.
Empower individuals and families to spend their health care dollars the way they want and need by enhancing and expanding Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)—nearly doubling the amount of money people can contribute and broadening how people can use it.
Help Americans access affordable, quality health care by providing a monthly tax credit—between $2,000 and $14,000 a year—for low- and middle-income individuals and families who don’t receive insurance through work or a government program.
As President Trump said during his Joint Address, “Action is not a choice—it is a necessity.” House Republicans are taking action this month to provide relief and deliver patient-centered health care.