GOP senators unveil first Obamacare replacement plan

Two GOP senators have announced the first replacement plan for Obamacare – but top Democrats say it’s unworkable

GOP senators unveil first Obamacare replacement plan

Insurance News

By Ryan Smith

The GOP’s first proposal to replace Obamacare has been put forward, with two Republican senators outlining their alternative plan Monday.

The proposal, sponsored by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), includes several proposals that could rankle members of their own party, according to a USA Today report – including keeping all the tax increases included in Obamacare.

The Cassidy-Collins bill would give states three options:

Keep the Affordable Care Act. Individuals and small businesses could still purchase insurance on state exchanges, and low-income individuals could be eligible for federal subsidies to cover the cost of insurance. States that expanded Medicaid would be allowed to keep that expansion.

Give states the federal funding promised under the ACA to create tax-free health savings accounts for low-income residents.

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Or states could reject any federal assistance.

“The power is best held by individuals and the states,” Cassidy said.

But Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called the plan an “empty façade” and said it was unworkable, USA Today reported.

“Millions of Americans would be kicked off their health plans, out-of-pocket costs and deductibles for consumers would skyrocket, employer-based coverage for working families would be disrupted, and protections for people with pre-existing conditions, such as cancer, would be gutted,” he said. “It is nearly impossible to keep the benefits of the Affordable Care Act without keeping the whole thing.”

The Cassidy-Collins plan comes after President Donald Trump signed an executive order allowing federal agencies to dismantle the ACA. That’s an order, Collins suggested, didn’t help GOP efforts to replace the plan.

“That executive order is very confusing, and we really don’t know yet what the impact would be,” she said. “We need legislation.”

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