The Republicans revealed their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, meeting with cheers and jeers. The plan already passed the first hurdle, moving through the House Ways and Means Committee. But it's receiving heavy criticism from a myriad of Healthcare groups, from the American Psychological Association to AARP, so it remains to be seen what the future holds for AHCA.
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Snippets from the Center
"After literally years of promises, House Republicans have a bill they say will "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act.
Some conservative Republicans have derided the new proposal — the American Health Care Act — calling it 'Obamacare Lite.' It keeps intact some of the more popular features of the ACA, such as allowing adult children to stay on their parents' health plans to age 26 and, at least in theory, ensuring that people with pre-existing conditions will still have access to insurance.
In some cases the elements of the law that remain are due to political popularity. In others, it's because the special budget rules Congress is using so Republicans can avoid a Senate filibuster do not allow them to repeal the entire law."
Snippets from the Right
Sally Pipes, Fortune
"Several parts of the American Health Care Act deserve applause. For instance, the bill would immediately end the individual mandate requiring Americans to purchase coverage or else pay a tax penalty of $695 or 2.5% of income—whichever is greater. It would also scrap the mandate requiring employers with 50 or more full-time workers to offer coverage.
By bolstering Health Savings Accounts, the measure would empower Americans to spend more of their health care dollars as they see fit. HSAs allow individuals to put aside money, tax-free, to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses. Starting next year, the act would increase the maximum individual HSA contribution from $3,400 to $6,550, and the top family contribution from $6,750 to $13,000.
The bill would also roll back Obamacare's complex system of income-based insurance subsidies and replace them with more straightforward, age-based, refundable tax credits. An individual who does not get coverage through work or another public program would receive the credit once a month to help cover premiums for any health insurance policy he chooses—not just those available on Obamacare's exchanges."
Snippets from the Left
Los Angeles Times
"Rather than being a complete repeal, it retains some elements of Obamacare — more properly known as the Affordable Care Act. This infuriates hard-line conservative members of Congress, as well as anti-government billionaires like the Koch Brothers, because they think it maintains new and unacceptable government entitlements. At the same time, the GOP proposal is anathema to moderate Republicans and pretty much all Democrats because it does not really replace the ACA’s approach to healthcare with an improved system. Rather, it radically changes the balance in who benefits.
The winners in the plan announced so proudly by House Speaker Paul D. Ryan are wealthy people who would no longer be taxed to help pay the medical expenses of the poor, as well as businesses of a certain size that would no longer be required to provide healthcare for their employees. Over 10 years, America’s richest citizens would be relieved from paying $310 billion in taxes. Meanwhile, millions of folks who could no longer afford health insurance premiums would be returned to dependence on hospital emergency rooms when they get sick."
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