Will new GOP health plan be the death of Obamacare?

Healthcare | Paul Ryan unveils details of the new Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act
by Ciera Horton
Posted 6/23/16, 02:07 pm

 

WASHINGTON—Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., on Wednesday unveiled the new Republican healthcare plan, which keeps some of the popular aspects of Obamacare but gives Americans more flexibility.

Ryan insisted repealing Obamacare will require more than a unified Republican front. It will require a Republican president.

“We’re not going to repeal Obamacare when the current president of the United States is a guy named Obama,” Ryan said.

The new plan is not an official piece of legislation. Supporters consider it a stepping stone to repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as Obamacare. Ryan’s reform permits coverage across state lines, allows people to buy coverage from private insurers, and gives states flexibility with Medicaid. It also encourages small businesses to join together to provide cheaper coverage to all their employees.

The plan will keep some of the popular aspects of Obamacare, like the guarantee that those with pre-existing conditions could not be denied coverage.

Another important part of the proposal is the allotment of $25 billion to federally subsidize healthcare for those with pre-existing conditions and high premiums, designed to keep premiums low for everyone else.

A White House statement on Wednesday blasted the Republican plan as “nothing more than vague and recycled ideas to take health insurance away from millions and increase costs for seniors and hardworking families.”

Despite near unanimous Republican agreement on the need to replace Obamacare, GOP lawmakers have had at least 50 failed attempts to repeal the president’s signature healthcare reform. Wednesday’s proposal represents one of the most unified Republican efforts challenging Obamacare to date.

The reform plan took on a new urgency as Republicans have tried to stay unified in the midst of the campaign controversy over presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump. The healthcare proposal is part of Ryan’s new Better Way agenda, a six-part series intending to show what the GOP would do with a Republican in the White House.

But the healthcare proposal has already faced significant critique. Many are frustrated that the plan is vague and offers no specific budget information.

The plan totals 37 pages—compared to the 3,000 pages that outlined Obamacare. Republicans say the plan is simply a roadmap and insist specific legislative questions will be answered as bills are written in the coming year.

The plan comes six years after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, mandating Americans have health insurance and requiring employers to provide it.

 

“Obamacare is fundamentally flawed,” Ryan told reporters at the event announcing the plan. “We’re saying, don’t force people to buy insurance. Make insurance companies compete for our business.”

Ciera Horton

Ciera Horton is a WORLD intern.

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