US House Speaker Paul Ryan revealed the Republican Party’s highly anticipated alternative to the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, on Tuesday.
Republican lawmakers have been crying out “repeal” since the behemoth legislation was pushed through Congress in 2010. It’s true many Americans have seen their healthcare costs skyrocket, and President Barack Obama was less than honest when he said patients who like their doctor and their existing plan would be able to keep it. Obamacare should be replaced with a slimmer, market-based alternative, and Ryan’s solution delivers on these characteristics. However, the 37-page synopsis lacks critical details regarding implementation. Republicans should refine the nuts and bolts of the plan before rushing through legislation as the Democrats did five years ago.
Paul Ryan Plan Scraps Parts Of Obamacare, Keeps Others
Speaker Paul Ryan’s proposal, titled “A Better Way”, offers a more conservative alternative to the Affordable Care Act ahead of the general election in November. The plan follows other GOP proposals for fighting poverty and bolstering national security.
Like Obamacare, A Better Way prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to patients with pre-existing conditions, and allows young adults to stay on their parents’ healthcare plan until age 26.
“Obamacare has limited choices for patients, driven up costs for consumers, and buried employers and health care providers under thousands of new regulations,” the plan reads. “This law cannot be fixed.”
The Republican alternative does away with subsidies to low-income individuals for buying insurance. Instead, the plan establishes a refundable tax credit. A Better Way also gradually increases the Medicare eligibility age, which is currently at 65.
In addition to striking unpopular Obamacare stipulations, the plan also includes medical liability reform and caps non-economic damages awarded in lawsuits. Paul Ryan says this provision aims to cut overall healthcare costs.
Republicans will have a difficult time selling the new measure to their colleagues, many of which favor simply repealing the ACA entirely. They face another uphill challenge convincing their constituents their plan is better than the existing law, even though Obamacare is widely unpopular across party lines.
The Obama Administration claims 20 million Americans have health insurance as a result of the ACA.
Forbes says Obamacare is not good enough
Under Obamacare, the president promised that health insurance premiums would fall $2,500 per family. Instead, premium prices continue to grow faster than healthcare expenditures did before the ACA…there is no fairy-tale scenario for Obamacare, only differing degrees of hardship.
Politico says new plan lacks needed details
The 37-page plan pledges to reduce consumers’ average health care premiums by double digits and bend the health care cost curve. But it does not lay out detailed answers about what it means to people who get coverage now.
Washington Post says Republicans will have difficulty passing legislation
While various Republican lawmakers and conservative policy thinkers have proposed pieces of an Obamacare replacement, the GOP-controlled House has had more success rallying around the “repeal” part than the “replace.”
Los Angeles Times says existing law works
Followers of the healthcare debate will recognize all those elements as standard features of GOP healthcare reform plans. Almost all would result in fewer Americans insured and higher rates, especially for vulnerable populations, according to an analysis by the progress