WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 (UPI) —
A group of U.S. House Republicans is crafting a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act rather than just repeal or defund it, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), R-La., said.
Scalise also said he thinks the measure drafted by a working group in the conservative Republican Study Committee, which he leads, can garner both enthusiasm and support, Roll Call reported Wednesday.
"This would be a great bill even if there was no Obamacare," Scalise said during a news conference called to unveil the legislation.
The 181-page measure would fully repeal the current healthcare law to give Congress a "clean slate," Scalise said.
While supporters insist the measure would retain support for people with pre-existing conditions, the measure appears to allow insurance companies to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions if there is a gap in coverage, Roll Call said. A bill summary said the provision would guarantee "individuals with pre-existing conditions can move between the large group, small group and individual health insurance markets, so long as they maintain continuous coverage."
The bill also would provide $25 billion over a decade to support state-run, high-risk pools, the summary said.
The bill also would overhaul how medical malpractice lawsuits are brought to court, allow people to buy health insurance across state lines and create a tax incentive for parents who set up a deferred-use health savings account for a child before the child turns 5, among other things, Roll Call said.
The bill would not require health plans or providers to cover abortions and would bar federal funds from covering abortion except for rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger.
Sources told Roll Call the measure has backing from conservative lobbying groups such as the Club for Growth and Heritage Action for America.