GOP ObamaCare replacement will leave out key dollar figures

Greg Nash

House Republicans’ ObamaCare replacement plan will not include specific dollar figures on some of its core provisions, and will instead be more of a broad outline, according to lobbyists and aides. 

{mosads}The plan, set to be released next week, will include a tax credit to help people afford insurance and a cap on the current exclusion of employer-based health insurance plans from taxation. 

However, it will not include specific dollar amounts on how large the tax credit would be, nor will it note which employer health insurance plans would be subject to taxation, lobbyists and aides said. 

Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) office declined to comment on the plan ahead of its release next week, and noted it is still being finalized. 

Republicans have said previously they will not be introducing their ObamaCare replacement plan in the form of a bill, but will instead release a white paper that is less detailed than legislation would be.

Keeping the plan in the form of a broad outline puts off some of the difficult tradeoffs and preempts lines of attack that would be raised with a specific and detailed plan. 

Capping the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance is a way to remove a distortion in the tax code and help fight rising health spending, but it is also politically fraught, given its potential to affect people’s existing health insurance plans. 

The outline is part of a broader effort from Ryan to show that House Republicans have policy solutions. 

“We think prices are going up because people have too few choices, not because they have too many,” Ryan said in a speech in December at the Library of Congress laying out his ideas. “And we think this problem is so urgent that, next year, we are going to unveil a plan to replace every word of ObamaCare.”

House Republicans held the last of a series of lawmaker meetings on their ObamaCare plan on Tuesday. 

Tags ObamaCare Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Paul Ryan
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