Justin and Guy wrote about the pending Obamacare replacement bill and the political games that are to follow today. Well, the wait is over. The House GOP released the text of the bill. It can be read at readthebill.gop. The new legislation keeps some aspects of Obamacare in place, such as allowing dependents to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans until they’re 26. It also prohibits health insurers from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.
It will, however gut the Obamacare taxes that Republican lawmakers have zeroed in as being contributors to the rising premiums, job losses, and limiting patient choices regarding their insurance. The employer and individual mandate penalties are out as well. The new bill will create a Patient and State Stability Fund, a source of funds totaling $100 billion that will be designated to meet “the unique needs of their patient populations and help low-income Americans afford health care.” Medicaid will be “modernized,” with a “transitioning to a ‘per capita allotment’ so states can better serve the patients most in need.”
To increase access to affordable health insurance, a new monthly tax credit of $2,000-$14,000 will be instituted for working class Americans. Expanding health care savings accounts is also on the docket. You can read the rest here.
Axios had a good breakdown of what’s in and out. Some red meat items, like tort reform and permitting health care providers to sell insurance across state lines were tossed due to the limitations within the reconciliation process. All items have to be directly related to spending and revenue for the federal government.
- Pre-existing condition coverage
- Continuous coverage — 30 percent penalty if people don't keep themselves insured
- Special fund to help states set up "high-risk" pools, fix their insurance markets, or help low-income patients
- Enrollment in expanded Medicaid will be frozen
- Current enrollees can stay until 2020, and keep getting extra federal funds, until they leave the program on their own
- Medicaid will change to "per capita caps" (funding limits for each person) in fiscal year 2020
- A new, refundable tax credit will be available in 2020 to help people buy health insurance
- Covers five age groups — starts at $2,000 for people in their 20s, increases to $4,000 for people in their 60s
- It's not means tested, but phased out for upper-income people (starting at $75,000 for individuals, $150,000 for families)
- Insurers can charge older customers five times as much as young adults
- All Obamacare taxes
- All Obamacare subsidies, including its premium tax credit
- Individual, employer mandate penalties
- "Cadillac tax" (until 2025)
- No longer will limit the tax break for employer-sponsored health coverage
- No payments to insurers for cost-sharing reductions
- Selling insurance across state lines (can't be done in the "reconciliation" bill)
- Medical malpractice reform (can't be done in the "reconciliation" bill)
Some are not happy with the new bill at all: