On Monday evening, March 6, House Republicans released proposed legislation that would replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The proposed legislation would:
- Eliminate the individual and large employer mandates
- Permit insurers to impose a surcharge up to 30 percent on individuals who go uninsured for more than two months and then purchase coverage
- Provide tax credits ranging from $2,000 per year for individuals under the age of 30 to $4,000 per year for those over 60, with the full credit available for person earning up to $75,000 a year and up to $150,000 for married couples filing jointly, with a phase out of the credits for individuals earning more
- Delay imposition of the tax on the most generous employer-provided health plans (the so-called “Cadillac” tax) until 2025
- Retain the tax exclusion for premiums paid for employer-provided health plans
- Expand Health Savings Accounts
- Prohibit insurers from denying coverage or charging more for individuals with preexisting medical conditions
- Permit young adults to stay on their parents’ health plans until the age of 26
- Forbid lifetime coverage caps
- Prohibit Medicaid payments or federal planning grants to Planned Parenthood
- Transition Medicaid from an entitlement program to a per capita cap on funding to states, depending on the number of individuals enrolled in the program; for the 31 states and the District of Columbia that expanded their Medicaid programs under the ACA, beginning in 2020, the higher levels of federal funding (up to 90 percent of the cost of covering the increased number of enrollees) would cover only those individuals in the program enrolled at that time
- Provide $10 billion over five years in additional payments to states that did not expand their Medicaid programs
It is anticipated that tomorrow, March 7, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will markup the Medicaid provisions and the Ways and Means Committee will markup the tax provisions. House Republican leadership hopes for the full House to consider the legislation before April 7.
Information on the replacement legislation is included on House Speaker Ryan’s website at http://www.speaker.gov/.
Additional information describing the bill is available at http://www.speaker.gov/press-release/statement-introduction-american-health-care-act and http://www.speaker.gov/general/american-health-care-act-what-you-need-know.
The actual draft legislation is available at https://housegop.leadpages.co/healthcare/.