GOP Obamacare Replacement Would Give Power to States

James Marshall
January 24, 2017

Trump, who campaigned on a promise to dismantle Obamacare, signed his first executive order Friday within hours of taking office.

Sen. Rand Paul is expected to release his own Obamacare replacement plan this week, which will likely be radically different than the one released by Cassidy and Collins on Monday.

If Republicans are successful in repealing the Affordable Care Act, it will cause the rates of the people who keep their insurance to shoot through the roof, as insurance companies attempt to recoup the losses they'll suffer from 20 to 30 million people no longer paying premiums due to a loss of coverage. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Susan Collins of ME, states could choose to keep the Affordable Care Act if their leaders felt the controversial health law was benefiting residents.

Both President Donald Trump and Republican congressional leaders have made it clear that repealing the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, is one of their priorities as the Trump era dawns in Washington.

California Democratic Rep. Linda Sanchez warned that any move to repeal Obamacare would lead to loss of tens of thousands of health care jobs, which would adversely affect the economy.

Repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has been considered the new Trump administration's top priority.

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"In my plan, we repeal Obamacare on a federal level, but if states like California or NY think that Obamacare works from them, then God bless them", Cassidy said.

The "Patient Freedom Act", created to be a partial replacement for the Affordable Care Act, was proposed Monday. The impacts might vary, depending on whether Republican legislators provide a replacement simultaneously with repeal.

Congress should not repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) without a plan to replace it that guarantees the protections that have helped all Americans, whether we receive insurance through our employers or through a subsidized plan.

Crawford said the health care issue has been important to her throughout the 2016 election cycle. Under the law, Medicaid health insurance for poor Americans was extended to 14 million people. Pulling back the law is going to affect how many people sign up for the basic health plans, whose open enrollment is going to end on January 31, 2017. But Levitt said broad exemptions from the law's coverage requirement could scare off insurers already on the fence about continuing to participate in 2018 and beyond.

"It basically resets the policy direction of the administration, from expanding coverage, the Obama administration's goal, to reducing regulation and taxes, transferring responsibility to the states, and moving toward more market competition", said Timothy Jost, an emeritus professor at the Washington and Lee University School of Law.

Basic health would cover individuals with a health savings account, a high-deductible health plan, and a basic pharmacy plan, the senators said. States could also decline federal subsidies altogether, but given that they would still be beholden to the pre-existing condition ban, that does not seem like a realistic option.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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