House GOP lawmakers have finally passed a bill to repeal most if not all of the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as the Obamacare bill. This development brings the republicans closer to achieving one of President Trump’s campaign promises. The bill passed by a narrow margin is now headed for the senate, where it is expected to undergo some changes. It is, therefore, important to understand what the bill is all about. What the bill aims to achieve:
1. Repeal the Obamacare subsidies
The GOP plans to eradicate the subsidies in Obamacare, which were the refundable tax credit, that was dependent on an individual’s cost of coverage and income. As an alternative, the republicans wants to provide much more affordable refundable tax credits depending on one’s income and age. This would take effect come 2020.
2. Advocate for increased tax credits for older Americans in the Senate
Although the handling of the legislation will be done by the senate, the house has set aside about $85 billion to provide tax credits as a way of helping the elderly buy policies on the individual market. This will see an increase in hikes of premiums as the bill is not as generous as the Obamacare’s subsidies for enrollees between 50-60 years.
The bill will eliminate the condition that people should have a health cover or else face a tax penalty. This will also eradicate the obligation of employers to provide health cover for employees. In its place, the bill seeks to set up a continuous coverage requirement. The bill will see insurer levy a 30% surcharge on people who let their cover lapse for 63 days.
4. Allow states to opt out of some insurance regulations
It will allow states to acquire waivers to let insurers charge consumers more if they have pre-existing conditions. It will also allow states to seek waivers of the federal requirement that insurers cover 10 essential health benefits.
5. Initiate a state and patient stability fund
The house will set aside $100 billion which will enable states to lower costs for insurers and consumers this will help reduce people’s out of pocket costs.
6. Rescind cost-sharing subsidies to reduce copays and deductibles
The bill will cancel the help received by people earning less than $30,000 a year meant to help reduce theirs out of pocket costs.
7. Delay the Cadillac tax
The bill will keep the Cadillac tax but will pause it and impose an exercise tax of 40% on employer health plans.
8. Allow insurers to charge the elderly more
The GOP will increase the cohorts to five-to-one, consequently states will be at liberty to charge older consumers up to five times as the younger one.
The bill seeks to restrict the expansion of Medicaid in 2020. This is by allowing current beneficiaries to stay in the roll but should they leave, they will be barred from rejoining. The bill will also change the formula used to for allocation of money by the federal government to the program.
10. Terminate the facilitated funding for Medicaid development
The bill would bring to a close the enhanced funding extension for new enrollees that is set to begin in 2020.States that at now have not already implemented the expansion won’t be permitted to do so. However, those already enrolled could stay provided that they remain constantly insured.
11. Permit states to inaugurate work obligations for Medicaid
States would have the preference to demand skilled Medicaid beneficiaries to work and take part in training programs or community service excluding expectant women, children below 19 years and the physically challenged.
12. Liberate most New York counties from Medicaid
Policy makers added a requirement that would prohibit the federal government from recompensing New York State for medical funds obtained from counties outside New York. The revision would equip the State with the mandate to end passing down Medicaid expenses to the counties.
13. Generate more liberal Health Savings Accounts
The bill also comprises numerous provisions aimed at ensuring Health Savings Accounts are more generous. This increases the annual donation limits to match the maximum sum of the deductible and out of pocket expenses, one would pay in an insurance plan.
14. Interdict excess tax credits from going into Health Savings Accounts
Enrollees whose credits are in excess of their premium costs would not be allowed to roll them over to the Health Saving Account in fear that they would be used to secure abortions.
15. Impose tax deductions for the wealthy
The amendment would abolish the two taxes that Obamacare levied on the wealthy to pay for the law. The investment pay tax would vanish this year although the Medicare payroll would stay until 2023.
16. Revoke taxes on prescription drug makers, medical equipment, and health insurers
The bill also aims to boost the yearly tax that was enacted by Obamacare on health insurers and drug makers and in addition remove the 2.3% tax on sale of certain medical devices.
17. End tanning tax
The amendment would eradicate a 10% levy on indoor processing services that was initiated as a section of Obamacare.
18. Minimize income threshold for subtracting medical costs
Under the new bill, taxpayers would have the capacity to remove surplus medical expenses more than 5.8% of their adjusted gross income. This would take effect from this year.
19. Eradicate backing for Public Health Fund and CDC Preclusion
The amendments would eradicate almost $1 billion in financing for this program. Centers for disease management says the fund assist in immunization, stroke prevention, heart disease prevention and diabetes control frequently through donations to states and local programs.
20. Raise financing for community health hubs
The bill would ensure an extra $422 million for community-based outpatient services, for example, dental care to the less privileged populations.