Leaked draft offers glimpse of GOP #Obamacare replacement

I can't believe what I am reading here! I sure hope that Trump does NOT let Paul Ryan do it this way! This is Obamacare all over again! I am angry! READ THIS!!!!!!

Politico reports today that a leaked draft of the GOP’s Obamacare replacement plan shows the House is not fiddling around the edges but moving toward full repeal and replacement of the law.

The legislation would take down the foundation of Obamacare, including the unpopular individual mandate, subsidies based on people’s income, and all of the law’s taxes. It would significantly roll back Medicaid spending and give states money to create high-risk pools for some people with pre-existing conditions. Some elements would be effective right away; others not until 2020.

The replacement plan would have no individual mandate. Instead, there would be a penalty of 30% for those who fail to maintain coverage. So people who wait until they get sick to sign up, as has been happening under Obamacare, will pay more. In place of the subsidies, the new plan would offer people tax credits of $2,000, with people over 60 getting double that amount. As for Medicaid expansion, states would have the option to continue it but federal support would end by 2020.

All of this is still going to cost a lot of money. The plan to cover those costs boils down to something similar to the Cadillac tax:

According to the document, there’s only one single revenue generator to pay for the new tax credits and grants. Republicans are proposing to cap the tax exemption for employer sponsored insurance at the 90th percentile of current premiums. That means benefits beyond that level would be taxed.

And while health care economists on both sides of the aisle favor tax-limits along those lines, politically it’s a hard sell. Both businesses and unions fought the Obamacare counterpart, dubbed the Cadillac tax.

The devil is in the details with proposals like this. The insidious part of the Cadillac tax was that it was designed to gradually ratchet down and eliminate the tax exemption for all employer sponsored insurance. We’ll see whether the GOP proposal has a similar design.

But if the GOP does anything close to what is described above then former Speaker Boehner was wrong when he suggested yesterday that the GOP would only wind up fixing Obamacare rather than repealing and replacing it. Removing the mandate and the subsidies ends the structure of the exchanges. I suspected the GOP might do that and then leave Medicaid expansion in place, but it sounds like they are going to end federal support for that as well. So this is not shaping up to be a repeal in name only.

Politico notes that the document is still preliminary since the GOP is waiting on scoring from the Congressional Budget Office. Depending what that scoring looks like, the shape of the replacement bill could still change significantly.


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I understand your point.  All I can do is hope they eliminate the mandate, REQUIRE insurance companies to operate in such a way that the people in each state have no fewer than five companies to choose from AND treat pre-existing conditions in a manner similar to assigned-risk insurance for motor vehicles -- each insurer gets a proportionate share of the "marginal" clients.

Ted Cruz And Rand Paul Bring Attention To The Need For A Free Market Repeal Of ObamaCare

Yesterday Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul each raised awareness of the need for a free market solution to the problem of ObamaCare. Each did so in his own way: Cruz with a serious op-ed, and Paul with some attention-seeking antics. But the ultimate goal of both Senators was the same: making sure that Republicans repeal ObamaCare the right way: with greater freedom of choice for consumers of health care and health insurance.

Cruz’s op-ed begins by insisting that Republicans honor their promise and actually repeal ObamaCare without making it worse.

Cruz outlines six specific proposals: “allow consumers to purchase insurance across state lines…expand health savings accounts…change the tax laws to make health insurance portable…protect continuous coverage…allow small businesses to pool together in association plans to get better rates for their employees… [and] block grant Medicaid to the states.” The general idea behind the proposals is to let the free market do its magic. I hope Republicans who are looking to “replace” ObamaCare decide to “replace” it with the free market.

Rand Paul tried to raise awareness about that same issue with a stunt in which he looked for the secret room where the House version of the ObamaCare...:

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul marched to the House side of the Capitol Thursday morning, knocked on a locked door and demanded to see a copy of the House’s bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which he believed was being kept under lock and key.

Aides in the room told the senator — before dozens of reporters in a crowded hallway — that there was no bill to see. In fact, it wasn’t the room where GOP members of the Energy and Commerce Committee were told to meet with staff to review the current draft of their bill at all. But that did little to dissuade Paul, openly critical to the House Republican leadership’s preferred path on the process, from making his underlying point.

I’m less sympathetic to Sen. Paul’s demands for an “open and transparent process” than I am to his ultimate goal of freedom in health care. Sometimes an open process in the debating of a bill leads to grandstanding and less productive discussion. It’s not the secretive nature of the process that disturbs me — and ultimately, I think, Sen. Paul reveals his real concern, with which I agree:


Speaker Ryan told OppCast that the Republican Obamacare replacement plan will parallel the Empowering Patients First Act introduced by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

Speaker Ryan said, “We’re basically putting into law the Price plan as our replace plan. It’s very similar to the bill that Tom Price has worked on for so many years, that many conservatives co-sponsored last year.”

Secretary Price served as the House Budget chairman in Congress and sponsored his bill every congressional term since the Affordable Care Act became law.

Speaker Ryan explained that despite concerns about the political will to repeal Obamacare, Congress progresses toward repealing Obamacare. He said, “We’re moving to this next right now in Congress. We’re on track. We’re on our schedule. Our plan was always this spring to take on the repeal and replace of Obamacare, so we haven’t changed a thing. I notice there’s a lot of white noise in the press on this, but we’re as committed as ever before.”

The Empower Patients First Act mirrors many of the details of the Ryan plan leaked in a bill previously reported on last month. The bill provides refundable tax credits for health insurance coverage and health insurance accounts (HSA) contributions. The Department of Health and Human Services would provide state “innovation grants” that would create high-risk pools for people with pre-existing conditions.

The OppCast interview provides the first official details of Obamacare’s replacement plan. Congressional staffers denied Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) from viewing the Obamacare secret draft in the Capitol building. Paul submitted his bill to replace Obamacare. Senator Paul and Congressmen Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) pledged to oppose any legislation that does not fully repeal Obamacare. The Ryan plan does not fully repeal Obamacare.

Congressman Mark Meadows told Breitbart News about his concerns about the Ryan plan. He explained, “We are concerned about a new federal plan that will only increase premiums and lead to higher prices. We are not going to fix health care by replacing Obamacare with another plan that won’t work.”


Sen. Rand Paul: Been told to ‘take it or leave it’ on Obamacare strategy

Kentuckian says ‘Conservatives are inclined to leave it’


Sen. Cruz Introduces the Health Care Choice Act


March 3, 2015



WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today introduced the Health Care Choice Act, which would remove Obamacare's costly insurance mandates and allow residents in one state the option to purchase a health insurance plan of their choice in any other state. The bill is cosponsored by Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and David Vitter (R-LA). Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 543.

"Every last word of Obamacare must be repealed," said Sen. Cruz. "And while we continue that fight, we must also send bill after bill to the President's desk to stop its harmful effects. The Health Care Choice Act will reduce costs, force insurers to compete for business and empower consumers to choose a health plan that meets their needs.

"The Administration has done absolutely nothing to prepare for an upcoming Supreme Court decision that could leave millions of Americans unable to afford insurance thanks to this failed law. Republicans must offer the American people alternatives that lower costs and break the status quo that favors big government and big health care business over hardworking Americans. The Health Care Choice Act is one step in that direction.

"This bill is a true market-based reform that will make health insurance more personal and affordable, giving consumers the freedom to select plans that fit their needs, anywhere from Alaska to Texas to Vermont."

Congressman Blackburn added: "Government-run health care has been foisted on the American public. Obamacare has promised a lot to millions of people - with no ability to deliver affordable medical care. That broken promise will be challenged in the Supreme Court on Wednesday. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the Administration, these millions of people will be stuck with unaffordable health insurance and no guarantee of actual medical care. Sen. Cruz has offered help to these folks. I applaud his effort and I am pleased to see my legislation, H.R. 543, the Health Care Choice Act was included in this bill."

The Health Care Choice Act repeals Title I of Obamacare, which includes the law's most egregious insurance mandates that have caused premiums and out-of-pocket expenses to skyrocket while degrading the quality of Americans' health care choices. The act also amends the Public Health Service Act to provide that insurance policies approved and sold in one state (designated the "primary state") may be allowed to be sold in any other state (i.e. "secondary state") but only if the health plan and insurer comply with certain basic requirements of the secondary state. Some of these requirements include:

  • Paying (nondiscriminatory) premium taxes; providing copies of the plan of operation or a feasibility study; written notice of any change in its designation of its primary state and a quarterly financial statement.
  • Consumer protections such as complying with the secondary state's fraud and abuse and delinquency requirements. 

See here for complete text of the Health Care Choice Act.





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