Leaked ObamaCare bill outlines GOP plan

Leaked ObamaCare bill outlines GOP plan
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A draft House Republican ObamaCare bill would dismantle the core aspects of the healthcare law and replace them with a system centered on a new tax credit.

The draft bill was provided to The Hill by a lobbying source and was first reported by Politico.

The measure is dated Feb. 10, so it is not the most recent version of Republicans’ plan. It is unclear how much has changed since then.

The bill would eliminate subsidies for people to obtain coverage, and federal funds for states to expand Medicaid would be phased out in 2020. The mandate for people to buy insurance would also be killed. 

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Those elements were also included in an outline that House Republicans circulated to lawmakers last week. The draft bill, though, includes dollar figures, which that outline had not included.

The plan calls for a tax credit, which would increase based on a person’s age, to help recipients afford insurance. The credit would be between $2,000 and $4,000.

In contrast to ObamaCare, the credits are not based on income, which Democrats argue means not enough help is given to low-income people to be able to afford coverage. Republicans say income-based credits discourage work.

The plan also includes $10 billion per year in “state innovation grants,” which are a version of high-risk pools but appear to allow for a broader array of uses for the money by states. The money could be used by states to help sick people get coverage and stabilize premiums.

As an alternative to ObamaCare’s individual mandate, the plan would allow insurers to charge people 30 percent more on their premiums if they had a gap in coverage and then signed up again.

The plan also includes a “per capita cap” for Medicaid, which imposes a per-person cap on federal spending on Medicaid. A lobbyist who reviewed the language said the Medicaid provisions were more generous than expected, based on the growth that is set out for the cap on federal payments.

What to do about the federal funds allowing states to expand Medicaid has been a huge point of division for Republicans.

States that expanded Medicaid, many of them run by GOP governors, do not want to see the federal funds killed off. Other Republicans say they should be phased out.

The GOP plan is paid for in part through a proposal to start taxing more generous employer-sponsored health insurance plans. The proposal would start taxing plans above the 90th percentile of premiums.

That idea is controversial among Republicans, with some warning the idea is imposing a new tax.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee had been eyeing March 1 for a markup on a ObamaCare repeal-and-replacement bill, but sources now say the markup is not likely until at least the week of March 6.