Is this plan a good replacement for the ACA or are all the negative comments from the democrats and Trump Haters warranted?
I’d say it’s not good in it’s current form, but has potential.
It sounds like it has the potential to get much better, and it’s probably better than nothing at all. One really good thing is that President Trump said they are very open to negotiations.
He said “It’s going to a big fat beautiful negotiation.”
It’s been explained that this is a three step process for this plan to work. Many changes will happen to this bill as it makes its way through our democratic process. So why is everyone complaining so much? Because they can’t see past phase one, and they are not able to realize what it will be by phase three. There isn’t anything to see yet. Since everything is being negotiated there isn’t anything to see for phase 3. It’s still being drafted. So no wonder there are doubts about what to vote.
If the rest of the plan doesn’t make it through, or if it isn’t what it’s been promised, no one wants to own the mistake. There is way too much riding on this. With seats opening up in 2018 and President Trump’s approval ratings as low as they are, this plan needs to be sparkling perfect.
They really should just scrap the three step process malarkey and write a bill with exactly what they want it to look like in the end. Then let the negotiations begin. It just seems like a better plan to me. I’m not alone on that opinion either.
Costs are supposed to be affected more in phases 2-3, bringing premiums down, because of competition between companies and being able to buy out of state. I keep hearing a lot about costs going up from Democrats and Paul Ryan keeps saying they will be going down.
Democrats are super mad at the defunding of Planned Parenthood and they are very dramatic about the possibility of having less people with coverage. Although with that predicted number they are relying solely on phase one CBO estimates, (Congressional Budget Office). Paul Ryan says that everyone will be offered coverage and the CBO numbers don’t take into account that people now have a choice instead of being made to buy or pay a penalty.
As it sits right now, the bill would allow insurance companies to charge older sicker policyholders up to five times as much as younger healthier ones. It’s not completely clear to me, if that would be something that might change during their phase plan and/or if it’s up for negotiations.
The Medicaid reform section seems a little sketchy and quite confusing. As well as the tax credits based on age and income has left me scratching my head and my brain hurts a little. Haha
Why are they in such a hurry to pass this legislation on healthcare reform? Well here is proof from an article written in November of 2015. This is an emergency issue. They need to fix this before everyone who uses Obama Care has no health insurance.
Obamacare’s Exchanges Begin To Implode via Forbes November 30, 2015
Need proof that Obamacare is imploding? Look to its exchanges.
The largest U.S. insurer, UnitedHealth Group, just announced that it may withdraw from then exchanges in 2017. The insurer currently offers plans in 34 states and covers more than 500,000 people through the online marketplaces. But it’s expecting $700 million in losses on its exchange business this year.
….Premiums and deductibles for policies sold through the exchanges have soared. The young and healthy — who must buy insurance for the law’s finances to work — are spurning coverage altogether.
…the plans available in the exchanges are simply unaffordable.
…or it makes more financial sense to pay the modest tax penalty for going without insurance.
Two years ago, President Obama brushed off criticism of his then-fledgling healthcare law by claiming “the same folks trying to scare people now are the same folks who have been trying to sink the Affordable Care Act from the beginning.”
The law is still fledgling today. And its critics haven’t sunk it. Obamacare has sown the seeds of its own demise.
FNN: Paul Ryan’s FULL PowerPoint Presentation on American Health Care Act (Obamacare Replacement)
Speaker, Paul Ryan Explains The American Health Care Act
Here are the steps that have already happened with the new American Health Care Act and you can keep track of future actions here:
Statement on Introduction of the American Health Care Act
One Step Closer: Two House Committees Approve the American Health Care Act
09 Mar 17 Press Release
Speaker Ryan Statement on American Health Care Act CBO Score
13 Mar 17 Press Release
Paul Ryan has explained this bill will go through a 3 prong process as it moves through legislation. This is due to the amount of votes they need to get the bill to pass. There are certain things you can not do without a 60+ vote. Republicans have only 52 Senate votes, which is not enough to end a Democrat filibuster. At least four of the Republican votes would not be reliable for a clean repeal bill. Apparently a perfect bill is simply not possible
Reconciliation – Repeal and Replace
- Repeal as much of Obamacare as possible
Administration Action – Appointees, (Tom Price,) will kill as much Obamacare regulation as possible through administrative rulemaking
- Needs 60+ vote
- The remainder of Obamacare will be repealed and replaced through a traditional bill. This bill would ideally enact other reforms that cannot be part of the budget reconciliation such as allowing health insurance to be sold across state lines. The third phase will be the most difficult since that bill would be subject to a Democrat filibuster.
Republican Health Plan Is Worth a Closer Look via TheResurgent.com March 11, 2017
The first two sections deal with “Patient Access to Public Health Programs” and “Medicaid Program Enhancement.” These sections dealt with reforms to Medicaid. Some of the items included, listed in order with their section number were:
- Banning Medicaid money for abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood (103)
- Repealing the Medicaid expansion effective January 1, 2020 (112) – The Medicaid expansion was the largest expansion of coverage under Obamacare.
- Limits the eligibility for Medicaid (114)
- Creates incentives for states to qualify Medicare recipients more often and penalizes those that carry ineligible people on the rolls (116)
- The next section, “Per Capita Allotment for Medical Assistance,” also deals with Medicaid reform.
- Caps Medicaid spending on a per person basis (1903A)
- Subpart D is entitled “Patient Relief and Health Market Stability.”
- Repeals Obamacare’s cost-sharing subsidy with insurance companies (131)
- Creates a Patient and State Stability Fund that empowers states to create risk pools for high risk individuals, promote preventive care, reduce costs and reduce out-of-pocket costs for insureds (2202)
- This section also describes the Continuous Health Coverage Incentive for people who drop their health insurance and sign up again. This is a 30 percent penalty for people who do not have 63 days of continuous coverage in the previous 12 months. This is not a popular provision, but Obamacare’s clause guaranteeing insurability for previous conditions is something most Americans want to keep. If this provision is to be kept, some sort of mechanism is necessary to prevent people from waiting until they get sick to buy insurance. (133, 2711)
- Amends Obamacare to increase insurance policy options (134)
There are many individual sections of the bill that repeal Obamacare taxes as well. One section of the bill is titled “Repeal and Replace of Health-Related Tax Policy.”
- Repeals the tanning tax
- Repeals the tax on prescription medications
- Repeals the Health Insurance Tax
- Repeals the Net Investment Income Tax
- Prohibits tax credits for abortion coverage (02-04)
- Repeals individual mandate (05)
- Repeals tax on employee insurance premiums and benefits (07)
- Repeals tax on over-the-counter medications (08)
- Repeals tax increase on Health Savings Accounts (09)
- Repeal of limits on Flexible Savings Account contributions (10)
- Repeal of medical device tax (11)
- Repeals the increase in the threshold of the medical income tax deduction. The threshold would return to 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income from the current 10 percent. (12)
- Repeal of the Medicare tax increase (14)
Section 15 deals with the refundable tax credits for insurance premiums. Section 7529 allows advance payment of the credit. This is a problematic section.
- Increases the HSA contribution limit to equal the amount of the policy’s deductible and out-of-pocket limits (16)
- Permits catch-up contributions to HSAs (17)
- Treats medical expenses within 60 days of the establishment of an HSA as occurring on the first day the account was opened. This would allow HSA funds to be used for a condition that occurred shortly before opening the account. (18)
Senator Cruz Found an Overlooked 1974 Rule That Could Be a Real Game-changer for Repealing Obamacare via Independent Journal Review March 11, 2017
House Republicans left several reforms popular with conservatives out of their health care bill because the parliamentarian is likely to rule them outside the scope of special rules in the upper chamber that prevent a Democratic filibuster.
These special rules hinge on what is known as “reconciliation,” a process which allows legislation that affects the budget but has a limited scope to be passed with only a simple Senate majority, leaving such bills immune to filibuster.
Traditionally, it has fallen to the parliamentarian — who advises the Senate “on the interpretation of its rules and procedures” — to determine what should and should not be considered a reconciliation bill.
According to Cruz, however, a provision in the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 would allow Republicans to both drastically increase the scope of their new health care reform bill and still let it fall under reconciliation by essentially bypassing the parliamentarian and leaving that decision up to Vice President Pence.
“Under the Budget Act of 1974, which is what governs reconciliation, it is the presiding officer, the vice president of the United States, who rules on what’s permissible on reconciliation and what is not.
Cruz said this process would allow Republicans to include a number of provisions that would make the health care reform bill much more attractive to conservatives.
The American Health Care Act Is Critical First Step Toward Protecting Patients
via HHS.gov March 7, 2017
With Congress considering reconciliation legislation, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) continues its work on the next two steps: taking administrative actions that will create a healthier insurance market and alleviate the burden the current healthcare law imposed on Americans, and supporting work on legislation that will include reforms not permitted under reconciliation, such as purchase of insurance across state lines.
Ongoing Administrative Actions
To relieve the burden of the current healthcare law, HHS has begun key administrative actions, including:
- Stabilize insurance markets and increase coverage choices beginning 2018;
- Loosening restrictions so patients have access to lower premium options; and Improving choices for patients and putting downward pressure on prices
- Future administrative actions help provide more options, give states flexibility for spending their Medicaid dollars, and ensure a stable transition to any law Congress passes.
In addition to the reconciliation bill, HHS supports legislation to take action on other priorities President Trump has laid out for healthcare, including:
- Increasing competition and choice by promoting the sale of insurance across state lines;
- Removing even more of the current healthcare law’s regulations on insurance;
- Reducing out-of-control drug costs; and
- New legal reforms to cut costs for patients and doctors.
Some states only have one insurer to choose from and by next year there will be none. People will be without healthcare at all. Over 50%-116% increase on Obamacare premiums. Only sick people are buying because healthy ones go without and are not paying into the pool. No money to cover costs.
“Two House committees have now approved the American Health Care Act. Next the bill goes to the Budget Committee as part of an open, transparent process.
“We promised to repeal and replace Obamacare, and now we are one step closer to giving families relief from this collapsing law. That means we are one step closer to going from a government-centered system to a patient-centered system, where you have lower costs, more choices, and greater control over your care.
“And—this is so important—we are one step closer to returning power from Washington back to states, to doctors, and to patients. Let’s come together. Let’s get it done.
The President did say it’s a work in progress, and like everything else there is always room for improvement. They are very open to revisions and new ideas to make it better. This is just a really confusing and vast issue to tackle with so many things that need to be factored in and possibilities that need to be taken into account.
…we must move to a better system that embraces competition and choice and actually lowers costs for patients and taxpayers.Introduced this week, the American Health Care Act keeps our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. I hope you will read the bill online at readthebill.gop.
Our goal is to give every American access to quality, affordable health care. For families, that means lower costs, more choices and greater control.
- Bill repeals Obamacare – we eliminate Obamacare’s taxes, mandates and spending.
- Plan ensures a stable transition, continuous coverage with protections for patients w/ pre-existing conditions and kids to stay on their parents’ plan until 26 years of age.
- Give states more funding and flexibility to support high-risk pools and reinsurance programs, plan takes care of those in need without driving up costs for everyone else.
- Strengthen Medicaid so that the STATES have the tools they need to take care of their poor and most vulnerable populations at a lower cost.
- Double the amount you can contribute to health savings accounts to pay for out-of-pocket expenses..
- An advanceable, refundable tax credit to those who don’t get insurance from work or a government program. Instead of mandates forcing you to buy what the government wants, you will have real choices.
- Get rid of costly insurance mandates and regulations, to further help choices.
In the weeks ahead, the House will consider this plan through an open and transparent process, including legislation to allow people to purchase health care across state lines.
Will the American Health Care Act Pass? via Fox Business March 8, 2017
The American Health Care Act put forth by House Republicans has left the party divided over whether the piece of legislation is an actual repeal of the Affordable Care Act or simply just what Senator Rand Paul called, “Obamacare Lite.”
In a nutshell the American Health Care Act allows adolescents 26 and under to stay on their parent’s plan, preserves the expansion of Medicaid through 2020, eliminates nearly all taxes and subsidies from Obamacare, and gets rid of the mandate that requires individuals to have health insurance or be forced to pay a penalty
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) emphasized the importance of “getting rid of all the mandated regulation and mandated coverages that are in Obamacare” in order to promote “market principles like health savings accounts, easy formation of association of health plans, [and] interstate shopping for insurance.”
“All I know is we had our House Dream Caucus meeting last night and there was strong opposition in that meeting. I don’t think there are the votes there for it now.”
However, he is optimistic about the democratic process and is hopeful of working together to create a product that will ultimately lower the cost of health care.
“Let’s have debates, let’s have amendments, let’s have discussions, let’s hash this out like we’re supposed to in front of the American people with full amendments so we can get to a much better product that I hope in the end will actually bring down the cost of insurance,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH)
via – AMP Business Insider March 6, 2017
Introducing block tax credits for individuals to access health insurance: Instead of the ACA’s tax credits, which adjusted the amount distributed based on income and the beneficiary’s residence, the AHCA would give lump tax credits to Americans. The credits would be based on age, and an individual making over $75,000 or a household making over $150,000 a year would see a decrease in the credit depending on how much he or she made over that limit. Here’s the breakdown of how much each age group would get:
- Under 30: $2,000 a year
- Age 30 to 39: $2,500 a year
- Age 40 to 49: $3,000 a year
- Age 50 to 59: $3,500 a year
- Age 60 and above: $4,000 a year
Providing grants to establish high-risk pools and encourage enrollment: Much as with the leaked draft, the AHCA would include a fund for states to institute numerous programs to stabilize the insurance market, most notably “the provision of financial assistance, high-risk individuals who do not have access to health insurance coverage offered through an employer.” This would allow states to establish high-risk pools for people with preexisting conditions, a plan often floated by Republicans. The plan would give states $15 billion in both 2018 and 2019 and $10 billion every year after that through 2026.
Changing the limit that insurers can charge older customers compared with younger customers: Under the ACA, insurers can charge older customers (generally sicker and more expensive to cover) no more than three times what they charge their youngest customers (generally healthier). The Republican bill would shift that to five times the amount.
Effectively defunding Planned Parenthood: The bill prohibits “direct spending” of federal dollars on any “prohibited entity” including those that provide abortions for anything other than the life of the mother, incest, or rape..
Republican health plan clears first hurdles, fate uncertain via Reuters March 9, 2017
The Republican plan backed by President Donald Trump to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system cleared its first hurdles in Congress on Thursday, but its chances for passage looked uncertain and top Republicans scrambled to bring disgruntled conservatives aboard.
The Energy and Commerce Committee voted 31-23 along party lines, with Democrats unified against it, to back the plan after marathon proceedings lasting 27 straight hours. Hours earlier, the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee similarly voted 23-16 before dawn to approve it after working 17 straight hours.
“Despite what you hear in the press, healthcare is coming along great. We are talking to many groups and it will end in a beautiful picture!” President Trump said on Twitter..
via The Blaze March 7, 2017
According to The Hill, Rand Paul is not letting “Obamacare Lite” happen without a fight, and he has allies. The libertarian leaning senator is teaming up with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) to release their own bill to repeal Obamacare on Wednesday, and it’s highly similar to the one that Republicans voted for unanimously in 2015.
….he believes that if there is one thing that will unite Republicans, it’s the repeal of Obamacare.
Congressional Budget Office Report on The American Health Care Act
CBO Report reflects only the first part of the new health plan. (Phase One.) Congressional Budget Office, (CBO), estimates 24 million decrease in number of uninsured by 2026, and 14 million uninsured by 2018. The report also estimates that the plan will cut the federal budget deficit by 337 billion over 10 years.
CBO scoring says there would be a premium increase for singles of 15%-20% in 2018-2019, but by 2020 would decrease. However, the plan grandfather’s in everyone who is newly covered by Medicaid. CBO numbers assume no one will want their coverage unless it’s a total freebie. Estimates leave out the paragraph section 2202 that provides multi-billion dollar funds that go to each state to identify the sickest people in the individual market and reimburse the insurers for the cost of their care. So that means that the other healthy people will not have to pay increased premiums to make up for the loss and cover the sickest like it does under ObamaCare. This also might be the solution to bring down the costs for the elderly, but that is still unclear and confusing.
The CBO was wrong about their predictions last time of ObamaCare, by 50% and they ignored the problem of the healthier having to fit the bill for the sick and now they are ignoring the solution for that which is written in this bill (SECTION 2202).
via Your World w/ Neil Cavuto – Betsy McCoy Author of “Beating ObamaCare”
‘‘SEC. 2202. USE OF FUNDS. ‘‘A State may use the funds allocated to the State under this title for any of the following purposes:
‘‘(1) Helping, through the provision of financial assistance, high-risk individuals who do not have access to health insurance coverage offered through an employer enroll in health insurance coverage in the individual market in the State, as such market is defined by the State (whether through the establishment of a new mechanism or maintenance of an existing mechanism for such purpose).
‘‘(2) Providing incentives to appropriate entities to enter into arrangements with the State to help stabilize premiums for health insurance coverage in the individual market, as such markets are defined by the State.
‘‘(3) Reducing the cost for providing health insurance coverage in the individual market and small group market, as such markets are defined by the State, to individuals who have, or are projected to have, a high rate of utilization of health services (as measured by cost).
‘‘(4) Promoting participation in the individual market and small group market in the State and increasing health insurance options available through such market.
‘‘(5) Promoting access to preventive services; dental care services (whether preventive or medically necessary); vision care services (whether preventive or medically necessary); prevention, treatment, or recovery support services for individuals with mental or substance use disorders; or any combination of such services.
‘‘(6) Providing payments, directly or indirectly, to health care providers for the provision of such health care services as are specified by the Administrator.
‘‘(7) Providing assistance to reduce out-of-pocket costs, such as copayments, coinsurance, premiums, and deductibles, of individuals enrolled in health insurance coverage in the State.
Newt Gingrich said the CBO should be abolished because they are wrong and corrupt. They were completely wrong about their predictions of ObamaCare, and they completely left out analysis of many sections of this new healthcare bill.
via First 100 Days – Day 53
If you’re not going to force people to buy, then less will buy, which is what Paul Ryan suggests could be the reason for the number estimates of less insured under the new plan.
These numbers only reflect phase one, which is the first bill. There is more, (at least one more,) that are planned to stabilize the market. This is just one piece of the puzzle. However, as I said before they really should just get all the good stuff in one bill and then start the negotiation process. That way everyone knows what’s going on right from the start and it seems like it would just be easier.
Remove health-care subsidies for Members of Congress and their families
American Health Care Act Summary PDF
House Republicans Deliver on President Trump’s Health Care Promise
http://paulryan.house.gov/healthcare/ This is where the bill was born. You can see the original text here. As you can see there has been access to this legislation all along and no one was hiding it from anyone.
Health Care Reform – A Plan Forward
Paul Ryan Introduces The Patients’ Choice Act
Mar. 13, 2017 – 9:25 – ‘The O’Reilly Factor’: Bill O’Reilly’s Talking Points 3/13; Plus reaction from Sen. Lindsey Graham
http://video.foxnews.com/v/5358215659001/?playlist_id=933116612001#sp=show-clipsHRC Calls on Congress to Reject the American Health Care Act
via HRC.org March 8,2017
These are the promises that need to be delivered.
The American Health Care Act: Fact Sheet
Keeps our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare
7 Provisions To Watch In The GOP’s Proposed Health Care Law – via NPR News
March 7, 2017