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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

The Buzz: The health care plan no one likes

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Saturday, March 11, 2017 05:01 am
Republicans have been promising to repeal and replace Obamacare for seven years. It helped them take over the House in 2010, the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016. President Trump made it one of his signature campaign themes. So they all have an enormous stake in getting something done. Now we’ve seen it. House Republicans unveiled their version of a repeal-and-replace bill this week that was praised by Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan and a few Republican leaders. It was denounced by pretty much everybody else.

Democrats, of course, would hate the plan no matter what was in it. But conservative House members don’t like it because it doesn’t go far enough in dismantling Obamacare. The American Medical Association doesn’t like it. The American Nurses Association doesn’t like it. The American Hospital Association doesn’t like it. The chief medical officer of Medicaid doesn’t like it. The insurance industry doesn’t like it. AARP doesn’t like it.

So far, Republicans are saying they will make only minor changes to the plan, which keeps so much of Obamacare that it could be called Obamacare Lite or, even more accurately, Obamacare 2.0. It would replace income-based subsidies with refundable tax credits based on age and income, charge individuals a 30 percent surcharge if they buy a plan after allowing their coverage to lapse and phase out the law’s more generous Medicaid funding over time. Not exactly getting government out of the health care business.

Ryan says he has the votes for passage. That remains to be seen. Republicans have had seven years on this. You’d think that was enough time to devise a plan they all liked.



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