WASHINGTON —House Republicans are unveiling new proposals to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s health care law, as Speaker Paul Ryan sought to showcase a GOP governing agenda amid the tumult of the presidential campaign.
The plan, revealed Wednesday, (June 22) relies on individual tax credits to allow people to buy coverage from private insurers, and includes other largely familiar GOP ideas such as medical liability reform and expanding access to health savings accounts. It proposes putting $25 billion behind high-risk pools for people with pre-existing conditions and for others, and transforming the federal-state Medicaid program for the poor by turning it into state block grants or individual per-capita allotments to hold down spending.
But the 37-page white paper falls short of a full-scale replacement proposal for “Obamacare” and leaves key questions unanswered, including the cost of the tax credits, the overall price tag of the plan, and how many people would be covered. Republican aides said it’s intended as an overall roadmap showing how the GOP would approach undoing and replacing Obama’s health law with a Republican in the White House, and specific legislative details would be answered as the actual bills are written next year.
As such it is an aspirational document like the rest of Ryan’s “Better Way” agenda, a six-topic blueprint that the speaker has been rolling out this month at carefully choreographed events that have been getting largely overshadowed by the latest Donald Trump campaign controversy. Ryan present ed his health care proposals alongside several House chairmen at the American Enterprise Institute.
“Obamacare set America on a path that leads to a larger government having a greater role in how health care decisions are made. Today we are proposing a new approach,” the report’s authors wrote. “This report is the beginning of the conversation, not the end.”