LEGISLATION

House Proposes Replacement Health Care Legislation

Efforts to replace Obamacare are moving forward with legislation called the American Health Care Act proposed by two House committees—the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees.  

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon explained in a statement that the plan would include “reforms to provide states with greater flexibility, lower cost for families and greater choice for patients.”

The legislation includes a new “Patient and State Stability Fund,” which an Energy and Commerce committee statement reports will assist those with low-income in affording health care and will “give states broad flexibility to design programs that best serve their unique populations” and “increase access to preventative services.” The plan also seeks to roll back Medicaid expansion, shifting to per capita allotment to fund state programs. Current Medicaid enrollees would be grandfathered and new Medicaid enrollment will be frozen at the end of 2019, according to the Committee statement.

The House Ways and Means Committee adds that the legislation would “dismantle” taxes imposed under Obamacare and expand “choice and control for the American people by expanding health savings accounts.” It would include a tax credit for those not obtaining health care insurance through employment or a federal program.

In keeping with prior statements by President Trump to continue these measures, the proposal does not change ability of young people to stay covered under their parents’ insurance until age 26 and continues protection for individuals with pre-existing conditions, preventing insurers from denying coverage or charging such individuals more.

The full text of the proposed American Health Care Act is available at the Energy and Commerce Committee and Ways and Means Committee websites.

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