Senate Republicans have proposed another bill, the GOP’s third in the last few months, to repeal and replace Obamacare.
The legislation is put forward by Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch (UT), Tom Coburn (OK) and Richard Burr (NC). It would begin, like its predecessors, with repealing Obamacare.
But the bill would keep some of the law’s more popular provisions, namely allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26. Otherwise, it would roll back the law’s reforms to the insurance industry, doing away with the individual mandate, rules regulating premiums based on age and the requirement that insurers not discriminate against anybody with pre-existing conditions.
Here’s what it would do:
- Insurers are banned from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions — if those people have had insurance for the previous 18 months, a significant step back from Obamacare’s reforms that unilaterally prohibits discrimination based on health conditions.
- Americans with incomes up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level would be eligible for an age-adjusted tax credit to help purchase private insurance. A new federal office would be responsible for administering the tax credits.
- Medicaid would be reformed as a quasi-block grant. States would receive a capped allotment based on their number of residents under the federal poverty level. States would be given flexibility to reform their Medicaid programs using those dollars. People eligible for Medicaid would also be able to access tax credits to purchase private coverage.
The senators said that the bill would be budget-neutral by capping the currently unlimited tax exclusion for employer-provided health coverage.
It is at least the third GOP Obamacare alternative of the last few months, following proposals from the Republican Study Committee and Sen. John McCain (AZ).
What’s not clear, however, is how the bill would address the more than 3 million Americans who have already received health insurance through Obamacare.
An outline of the full proposal is below.