The Republicans have finally submitted their version of a Healthcare law to address the nation’s health-care system and to replace the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare/SCOTUScare/Unaffordable Care Act.  They call it the American Health Care Act.

The question is not whether the Democrats will agree with anything in the proposed bill, they will not.  The question is will they have enough support within the Republican Caucus to pass the bill and get it to the desk of President Trump.

We are told the bill is designed to give the powers back to the states.  The bill will provide a Patient and State Stability Fund, this fund would allot $100 billion over the course of a decade to help stabilize the markets, which were destabilized by Obamacare, and provide funding for low-income Americans.

The Republican plan aims to incentivize those who don’t receive insurance through work to purchase coverage via a refundable tax credit based on age.  This tax credit would be provided for those looking to buy plans on the open market. This tax credit will not be available to high-income brackets.

The tax credit brackets are as follows:

  • $2,000 tax credit for people under 30
  • $2,500 for those between 30-39
  • $3,000 the 40-49 age bracket
  • $3,500 for those between 50-59
  • $4,000 for the over 60 bracket.

The question will come up that the Republican plan is just replacing one subsidy/welfare for another.  That is a valid question and we will have to find out what comes of this subsidy and how will the conservatives in Congress react to it.

When Obamacare is repealed that does not mean the President Obama and the democrats totally failed.  The President and the democrat party did leave one legacy and that legacy is a tremendously large and expensive new entitlement/welfare program. Whether you agree or disagree with the subsidy it would probably be political suicide right now to totally get rid of this new entitlement/welfare program.

Do you believe the Republicans should have looked to end this new large welfare program or continue to help those who say they cannot afford to pay for the high cost of health insurance?

Also in the bill the tax credits are what they call additive for a family and capped at $14,000 and will grow over time. The full credit is available for those making $75,000 per year or $150,000 for joint filers. It would then be phased out by $100 for every $1,000 in income above those thresholds.

The next bump in the road could be what has replaced the Obamacare mandate.  Yes the mandate is being repealed and you will not be penalized if you do not buy health insurance.  What is in the bill is those who drop coverage, once they purchase health insurance, for longer than 63 days would be subject to a 30% late-enrollment surcharge in addition to their base premium.  This is the Republican’s attempt to encouraged continued coverage.

What the Democrats are not going to like is the part in the House Republicans’ American Health Care Act which would block federal funding to Planned Parenthood and instead direct those funds to a Community Health Center Fund which would be created to award grants to Federally Qualified Health Centers.

Also a major change is coming to the Medicaid system.  The plan would provide the states with per capita allotment per enrollee which the Republican plan believe would give the states more flexibility to craft and administer their programs.

The Republican bill will phases out Medicaid expansion by Dec. 31, 2019 of the 31 states including Michigan.  This phase out would allow states to keep the enhanced match for new beneficiaries before 2020. After Jan. 1, states would only be able to enroll newly eligible individuals at their traditional Federal Medical Assistance Percentages.

The 19 states that chose not to expand Medicaid would be provided $10 billion over the course of five years to assist them during the transition period.

Also the portion of the Affordable Health Care Act which stated that an insurance company cannot deny coverage to due pre-existing conditions will also be part of the Republicans American Health Care Act.  As well as the ability for children up to the age of 26, yes our government still considers you a child until you are 26, would still be allowed to be considered children and stay on their parent health insurance plan.

Now this is the original bill submitted by the House Republicans and still must be marked up and possibly changed and amendments added once the full congress has access to do so.  That access started last night when the bill was presented.

What are your thoughts?

The Live with Renk Show airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon. To let me know your thoughts during the show please call (269) 441-9595.

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