Republicans Outline Plan to Eliminate Health Care for Millions

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Paul Ryan outlined the latest Republican replacement for Obamacare today. Here’s the nickel summary from the New York Times:

The Republican plan includes tax credits to help people buy insurance and new incentives for consumers to establish savings accounts to pay medical expenses. The tax credits would increase with a person’s age, but — unlike the assistance provided under the Affordable Care Act — would not vary with the amount of a person’s income.

….But the outline did not say how the legislation would be paid for, essentially laying out the benefits without the more controversial costs. It also included no estimates of the number of people who would gain insurance through the plan, nor did it include comparisons to the Affordable Care Act, which covers about 20 million people.

The GOP outline is here, but you might as well save yourself the trouble of clicking the link. There are no real details there either. They don’t say how big their tax credit is, but they hint that it will be laughably small, especially for older workers. They do say they’re going to repeal all Obamacare taxes and get rid of the individual mandate. They promise to switch Medicaid to either a fixed allotment or a block grant; repeal the Obamacare expansion; and put the whole program “on a budget.” The Medicaid allotment would grow by “an inflationary index”—but they don’t say which one. The plan introduces support for “catastrophic” coverage, which would (maybe) provide plans that are technically cheap enough to be affordable with the tax credit, but which are essentially useless for providing normal health care.

And as long as we’re on the subject of health care, the Trump administration issued some proposed new Obamacare regs yesterday. In a nutshell, they plan to shrink the new enrollment period from 90 day to 45 days and make a technical change that would reduce subsidies for a family by about $300 per year. However, this might not matter since they seem to be doing their best to create so much chaos that no insurer is going to stay in the market anyway. If you want more details, Sarah Kliff has ’em.

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