Health

GOP Reveals New Plan To Replace Obamacare

| by Ray Brown

House Republicans introduced the draft of a new plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as "Obamacare."

The proposed plan keeps many popular features of the ACA, including allowing young people to stay on their parents' healthcare plan until the age of 26, and not allowing insurance providers to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, reported CNN.

But it also gets rid of what might be the most controversial aspect of the ACA, which is mandatory requirement that all Americans buy healthcare coverage.

Instead of penalizing people with a stiff fine for not having coverage, the Republican plan creates a system of tax credits to encourage people to purchase healthcare coverage. However, the new plan allows insurance companies to charge a 30 percent premium on individuals who have gone more than 63 days without coverage since the day they left their previous coverage, according to NBC News.

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"The American Health Care Act is a plan to drive down costs, encourage competition, and give every American access to quality, affordable health insurance," Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said in a statement, reported CNN. "It protects young adults, patients with pre-existing conditions, and provides a stable transition so that no one has the rug pulled out from under them."

Some Republicans have criticized the new healthcare plan as being not very different from the ACA. Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky even called the new plan, "Obamacare Lite" in a tweet.

"So much of their bill is a bailout for the insurance companies," Paul told Fox News, according to Reuters.

On Twitter, President Donald Trump said the healthcare draft is still in its early form and that more details will be released soon.

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"Don't worry, getting rid of state lines, which will promote competition, will be in phase 2 & 3 of healthcare rollout," he tweeted.

Trump also said drug prices will be decreased.

"I am working on a new system where there will be competition in the Drug Industry," he continued. "Pricing for the American people will come way down!"

But others didn't see the Republican healthcare plan as simply a lighter version of the ACA.

"It’s even more bleak than we thought," said Nadereh Pourat, a health economist and director of research at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, according to the Sacramento Bee. "It depends on how you define 'repeal and replace.' All I see here is repeal. And a reduction in (healthcare) benefits."

Sources: CNN, Sacramento Bee, Reuters, NBC NewsSenator Rand Paul/Twitter, Donald J. Trump/Twitter (2 ) / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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