House Republicans Unveil Obamacare Repeal Legislation … At Long Last

Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., watches as President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Wisconsin State Fair Exposition Center, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, in West Allis, Wis. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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Legislation to dismantle the Affordable Care Act was unveiled Monday evening, in a bill submitted to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Republicans were scrambling through the weekend to make last-minute changes to the bill and comes after multiple debates over the approach the GOP should take in repealing Obamacare bogged down the effort. The bill include some replacement elements, but would also dramatically pull back assistance the federal government offers to help people obtain insurance coverage.

The legislation would transform Medicaid into a block grant with a per capita cap, meaning states would received a fixed amount of funding per enrollee to the program. The expanded Medicaid program some states opted into under the ACA would be allowed to continue until 2020, at which point expansion states would freeze their enrollments.

The tax-related provisions of repeal were included in separate legislation filed to the House Ways and Means Committee. That bill would replace the ACA’s subsidies for the individual exchanges with tax credits that can be used on any individual plan. The tax credits would increase according to age, but would taper off for high-income individuals, drying up completely for individuals making more than $75,000 a year.

The repeal bill would dismantle the ACA’s individual and employee mandates right away. Some of the law’s other taxes would be repealed at the end of this year, and while others would stay in effect until 2020.

Republicans, in the legislation, backed off from previous proposals to impose a major change to the tax treatment of employer plans. Instead, they would keep the ACA’s currently delayed Cadillac tax — a 40 percent levy on the most generous employer plans — but extend the delay until 2025.

Here is the Energy and Commerce bill.

Here is the House Ways and Means bill.

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