House Republican leaders previewed parts of an Obamacare repeal bill at a Thursday press conference.
House Speaker Ryan announced:
Here is what is important for us all to understand: Obamacare is not simply stuck in some kind of status quo. It is getting worse by the day, and it will keep getting worse unless we act.
We need to rescue people from this collapsing law, and we need to replace it with a true patient-centered system. One that gives every American access to quality, affordable coverage.
That means more choices and lower costs. It means real protections and peace of mind. And it means returning your care to your control. Patients and doctors should be making the big decisions—not government bureaucrats.
Step by step, this is what our plan to repeal and replace Obamacare will do. We look forward to making progress in the coming weeks and keeping our promise to the American people.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) joined the speaker in reaffirming their commitment to repealing and replacing Obamacare.
House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) said, “We’re going to continue to work through this through the district work period next week. And as we come back in the weeks ahead we’re going to be moving forward with legislation.”
Republicans leaders hope to soon provide a credible alternative to Obamacare. House congressional committees including Ways and Means, as well as Energy and Commerce, will start the markup of the bill after the president’s day recess next week.
The Republican proposal would include health savings accounts, high-risk pools for sick people, and states receiving greater control over health care. The plan also includes tax credits for individuals to buy health insurance dependent on age and family size rather than Obamacare’s income basis.
The Republican plan lowers Medicaid back to each states’ traditional match rate. The proposal says, “This ensures continuity of care and coverage for low-income adults, but does not reward states that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare and allows individuals to cycle off the program into other coverage sources naturally.”
States that did not elect to expand Medicaid would receive additional resources to make states more equal. The plan would limit per capita spending on Medicaid; however, states can elect to choose a block grant. The block grant does not include Obamacare’s expanded Medicaid funding and presumes that individuals find coverage outside of the Medicaid program.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price told lawmakers that the president backs repeal and replace occurring at the same time, and that “the president is all in on this.”