Society

GOP Reveals Obamacare Replacement

| by Robert Fowler
The House Speaker, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of WisconsinThe House Speaker, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin

After six years of vowing to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Republican lawmakers have unveiled a rough outline of their alternative plan to provide health insurance.

On June 22, the House Speaker, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, unveiled the plan as a part of his GOP legislative agenda, titled “A Better Way.”

“The purpose of this agenda is to show a better way on the big issues of the day,” Ryan said, according to ABC News.

The outline clocks in at 37 pages, offering a basic sketch of how Republicans would like to uproot the ACA while still maintaining some of its more popular components.

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The plan is short on overall cost details, but a senior House GOP aide asserted that the document is a white paper, or a rough outline that will be expanded on in the future.

Ryan pitched the plan as an indication of what GOP leaders will enact if they recapture the White House in the 2016 presidential election.

“What you’re seeing today is a consensus by House Republicans on the best way to replace Obamacare, and that is a very important achievement in and of itself,” Ryan continued, according to The Washington Post.

“The goal of this is not to show that we can send a bill and watch it get vetoed by the president,” Ryan added. “The goal of this is to show the country a better way on the big issues of the day that can get into law in 2017 with a Republican president.”

The plan includes several popular Republican policy proposals, such as providing a refundable tax credit for individuals who do not have insurance through their employer, removing the cap on how much more older Americans can be charged by insurance companies -- from three times more than young people to five, and placing costly patients with preexisting conditions into “high-risk pools.”

The GOP plan would place individuals with pre-existing conditions in state-run high-risk pools that would be provided subsidies to the tune of $25 billion over 10 years.

The plan would also transform Medicare into a more market-based model, including raising the retirement age to 67 beginning in 2020, The New York Times reports.

“In this plan, innovative, market-based, patient-centered solutions replace Obamacare's one-size-fits-all, Washington-knows best approach,” the plan states, according to The Hill.

White House spokeswoman Katie Hill dismissed the plan as vague and suggested that it would result in millions losing their health insurance, as well as increasing costs for seniors.

“We hope that congressional Republicans stop trying to destroy a law that’s helping so many people and instead accept the President’s offer to work together to strengthen the Affordable Care Act in a bipartisan way to further improve Americans’ health care and the economy,” Hill said.

Sources: ABC NewsThe Hill, The New York Times, The Washington Post / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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