On Monday night, House GOP leaders released a plan to replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act (colloquially known as Obamacare) after lingering speculation and — at times — secrecy.
Here are some of the things the new health care bill will reportedly do:
- Replace federal subsidies with a new form of tax credits.and grants for states to implement their own policies.
- The federal government may not penalize taxpayers for not having health insurance, but it will allow health insurance companies to charge people a surcharge for a gap in coverage.
- It keeps two provisions in ACA: Young people can stay on their parents’ health care plan until 26, and health insurance companies cannot deny people coverage for pre-existing conditions.
- Planned Parenthood would be ineligible for Medicaid reimbursements or federal grants. Planned Parenthood currently receives about $500 million in Medicaid reimbursement for providing a variety of medical services for women.
And the House’s initial efforts seemed to have the president’s support:
Our wonderful new Healthcare Bill is now out for review and negotiation. ObamaCare is a complete and total disaster – is imploding fast!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 7, 2017
However, the Republican Party is divided on Capitol Hill over the new health care bill. Many Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, call the new plan “Obamacare lite,” and spent much of Tuesday bashing the bill.
The House leadership Obamacare Lite plan has many problems. We should be stopping mandates, taxes and entitlements not keeping them.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 7, 2017
Paul, who has been the most outspoken critic of the House leadership’s plan to renovate the ACA, explained his concerns and his own plan to repeal and replace Obamacare on MSNBC’s Morning Joe:
Sen. Paul has long attempted to take the lead on #RepealandReplace. He came out with his plan ahead of the House leadership. He demanded last week to see what he called a secret plan House Republicans were keeping “under lock & key.” Now, he is leading the conservative opposition against the new health care bill.
And Paul may ultimately be the one who holds all the keys in the GOP’s efforts to replace the ACA. Just hours after President Trump tweeted out his confidence in the new health care bill, he gave Paul a shoutout:
I feel sure that my friend @RandPaul will come along with the new and great health care program because he knows Obamacare is a disaster!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 8, 2017
The debate over repealing and replacing Obamacare will continue, and it appears the biggest hurdle Republicans must clear continues to be securing a more united front from their own members. One thing seems clear, the debate on Capitol Hill appears far from over.