Republican lawmakers this week intend to unveil a bill to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s signature legislature, the Affordable Care Act, but several conservative groups are already raising concerns about key provisions of the GOP’s healthcare reform plan.
A senior Republican congressional aide said Sunday that key leaders have been working on a draft and he expects the final bill will be released early this week, according to Reuters.
Although the aide called the bill a "consensus Republican plan," the Associated Press reports that a united front doesn’t necessary guarantee success. Many conservatives don’t believe the proposals go far enough and are against the use of tax credits to help pay medical expenses for people who don’t receive coverage from their employers or through the government.
And many oppose House Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan to tax part of the value of employer-provided coverage. "A new plan that actually taxes the very workers that voted for Donald Trump and voted for many of our members is not moving in the right direction," Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, told the AP.
The proposed legislation intends to fundamentally restructure the system created under the ACA, eliminating health insurance marketplaces that offer coverage for low- and moderate-income Americans, creating a new system of subsidies linked to a consumer’s age instead of income, according to leaked drafts of the bill. The age-based requirement could make it harder for millions of Americans to purchase insurance, the Los Angeles Times noted.
Other controversial aspects of the plan include phasing out federal aid that has allowed states to expand Medicaid and allowing insurers to charge higher premiums to those who allow their insurance to lapse.
Although Republicans are under pressure to fulfill President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to repeal and replace the ACA, many advocacy groups have asked House Republicans to slow down the process to allow time for an independent review of the bill, according to the LA Times.
Other conservative groups worry that some Republicans will bow under pressure from activists opposed to the repeal who have attended town-hall meetings across the country, The New York Times reports.
“We’ve been patient this year, but it is past time to act and to act decisively,” said Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, the group coordinating the push. “Our network has spent more money, more time and more years fighting Obamacare than anything else. And now with the finish line in sight, we cannot allow some folks to pull up and give up.”
These groups intend to put pressure on lawmakers via a campaign called “You Promised,” which will feature advertising, rallies and phone calls to the Capitol.