After much speculation, House Republicans unveiled the ‘American Health Care Act’ which espouses tax credits as inducements for people to buy insurance in an open market. As a replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), here are several significant changes:
- Individual and large employer insurance mandates are removed
- Income-based subsidies for buying insurance are abolished
- Tax credits based on age and income are provided
- Penalty for not having insurance is removed, but insurance companies may increase premiums by 30% for those who let insurance lapse
- Medicaid expansion is rolled back for new beneficiaries
House Republican leaders intend to keep several key provisions from ACA, including:
- People with pre-existing conditions are protected
- Lifetime coverage caps will remain banned
- People up to age 26 may remain on their parents’ plan
Replacing ACA will not happen overnight. The American Health Care Act will began the ‘markup process’ in two House committees on March 8. In committee, lawmakers may debate, amend, and ultimately vote on the new bill. Once the committees are satisfied, it would go to the House for a full vote. The Senate may then decide whether to create a bill or vote on the House’s bill.
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