#The House Republicans have rolled out their version of the replacement for Obamacare. Sen. #Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, who has his own Obamacare replacement bill, is very unhappy. He believes that the Republican bill is Obamacare light, according to CNN, for three reasons.
The bill replaces the subsidies with a tax credit to buy insurance, which Paul and other conservatives view as just another entitlement.
The bill preserves the individual mandate by allowing insurance companies to charge 130 percent of premiums for a year for customers who allow their policies to lapse.
The bill would limit the tax break on employer-provided plans.
However, the House Republican bill would enhance health savings accounts and would provide more state control for Medicaid. It phases out Medicaid expansion, thus alleviating a significant cost burden. Despite the complaints of Paul and others, the bill represents a vast improvement over Obamacare.
Paul’s version of an Obamacare replacement allows for buying insurance policies across state lines and for group plans based on associations, both of which would insert a free market into health insurance. With competition introduced, premiums are reduced, at least in theory.
The question now is can the Republican leadership ram the bill through without the support of Paul and a number of House conservatives. Other conservative senators such as Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are yet to weigh in as of this writing. Little or no Democratic support is a given. The Democrats would see the world burn before they would agree to a repeal of Obamacare, even though the Affordable Care Act is in a death spiral. Only a few if any red state Democrats are expected to go along with the bill.
The Republicans want to deal with repeal and replace Obamacare quickly so that they can work on tax reform. While dealing with the ACA helps to roll back a public policy mistake, dealing with taxes is an opportunity to reshape the relationship Americans have with their government. Lessening the tax burden and making it easier to pay taxes would be a great boon for the economy and would prove that Republican government is a positive thing.