GOP health bill draft would cut Medicaid, emphasize tax credits

Posted February 27, 2017

In other developments tied to when and what is coming on the ACA repeal and replace front, John Boehner, former House speaker, told an industry conference in Orlando on February 23 that it is "happy talk" among Republicans that a full overhaul of the law is coming. More than 84,000 people signed up or renewed health coverage under the ACA in the area that includes Norfolk, Newport News and Portsmouth, the agency reported.

States could choose to still cover Medicaid expansion lives, but without as much from federal funds, the draft said. Meanwhile, ObamaCare is more popular than it's been in seven years. It also said states would be given more flexibility in rolling back Medicaid and administering the program.

States that opted to expand Medicaid during the Obama administration would gradually have the additional federal funds phased out until 2020. The program would also be converted from a federal-state program that pays for all the health care beneficiaries get, to one where Washington sends a fixed amount of money to each state for each Medicaid enrollee.

If that's the case, it would be a significant blow to President Trump and Republicans who campaigned on the promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Numerous law's supporters consider the coverage requirement essential for nudging younger, healthy people into the insurance pool to keep premiums in check. Yesterday, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said she will not vote to repeal the Medicaid expansion in Obamacare as long as her state lawmakers continue to support it - which they do.

To help people who don't get insurance through their employer buy coverage, the bill offers age-based tax credits that start at $2,000 for individuals under age 30.

The latest Health Tracking Poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 48% of Americans view the law favorably, compared to 42% who have an unfavorable view.

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Former Speaker John Boehner said Republicans were "wildly optimistic" on the campaign trail in promising voters a full and immediate repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), popularly known as Obamacare. Despite this, many healthcare organizations are in favor of a change from Obamacare with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services being one of them.

Walker said Friday he supports giving states more flexibility in terms of Medicaid spending, but was lukewarm about the idea of block grants.

Senate Republicans have, however, objected to parts of the House GOP plan, and Boehner said Thursday that those differences will make it hard for the party to come together on a new plan.

Wonder why Republicans in Congress do not know how to proceed with healthcare?

The bill would repeal Obamacare taxes.

Some 21 million people have gained coverage under the ACA, and contentious town hall meetings and marches are revealing what Republicans always feared: once people have a benefit, it is very hard to take it away.