Less than 24 hours after its unveiling, the House bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act was engulfed in a firestorm of criticism from the left, right, and center of the political spectrum.
Hardline conservatives blasted the plan as "Obamacare-lite," while more moderate Republicans fretted that the plan will not adequately protect those who gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
As they tried to straddle a potentially impossible political divide, the House committee chairs pushing the bill forward presented a contradictory message: The bill both completely scraps Obamacare and protects some of its most popular provisions.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Greg Walden (R-OR) (pictured above right) listed those provisions in a press conference on Tuesday: "We are protecting those patients living with preexisting conditions under our plan," he said. "We are not returning to the days of lifetime or annual limits. And we will continue to allow young adults to remain on their parents' policies until they reach the age of 26. And we will keep our promise not to pull the rug out from anyone, including those on Medicaid."
To the consternation of conservative lawmakers, the bill also maintains the Affordable Care Act's "Cadillac Tax" on pricey employer insurance plans and its rule that health insurance plans must cover 10 "essential benefits."
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