House Republicans reveal ACA repeal, replacement plan

Capitol Building on Capitol Hill
Republicans in the House of Representatives have unveiled their proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

House Republicans have unveiled their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act: The American Health Care Act, which includes many of the elements the party has touted in its opposition to the ACA.

The law is in two parts, one out of the House Ways and Means Committee and one out of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, also introduced legislation to repeal the ACA through budget reconciliation alongside the replacement plan.

The bill would start unwinding the ACA’s Medicaid expansion beginning in 2020. On Jan. 1 of that year, the enrollment lists would freeze and states would no longer be able to add new enrollees under expanded Medicaid. The law would also transition the funding for the Medicaid program to a per capita allotment for each state.

The GOP’s healthcare proposal has several other key tenets, including:

  • Ending taxes levied by the law, including those on pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The taxes would continue for a year to pay for ACA programs as they wind down.
  • Eliminating the ACA’s individual and employer mandates.
  • Expanding access to health savings accounts.
  • Offering monthly, age-based tax credits to low- and middle-income families.

It would also keep in place some of the more popular elements of the ACA, including its protections that ensure coverage for people with preexisting conditions and that allow children to stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26.

“With President Trump, House Republicans are taking a stand,” Brady said in a statement. “Our legislation transfers power from Washington back to the American people.”

Many of the bill’s provisions were previously outlined in the Republicans’ “A Better Way” proposal, which was released last summer. The law also bears resemblance to several drafts that have leaked over the past few weeks.