Republicans officially deliver bill set to replace Obamacare

Republican members of Congress have released a plan aimed at repealing and replacing Obamacare, fulfilling a promise they made during the 2016 election.

President Donald Trump greets Speaker of the House Paul Ryan prior to his initial address to Congress, February 28, 2017. (Screen grab of live YouTube image)

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2017 – Rep. Paul Ryan and Congressional Republicans have released a plan which aims to dismantle and replace the controversial Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature healthcare achievement.

The proposed bill, labeled “The American Health Care Act,” will scrap the individual mandate, which requires individuals to purchase health insurance. The price tag remains unknown. The new legislation would end the requirements that most Americans buy insurance and that larger employers provide it.

The bill fulfills a promise made by key Republicans and President Donald Trump that they would repeal and replace Obamacare immediately. House Speaker Paul Ryan released a statement following the disclosure of the new plan’s details, declaring “Skyrocketing premiums, soaring deductibles, and dwindling choices are not what the people were promised seven years ago.”

“It’s time to turn a page and rescue our health care system from this disastrous law,” he continued. “The American Health Care Act is a plan to drive down costs, encourage competition, and give every American access to quality, affordable health insurance.”

The bill would allow young adults to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26 and would keep the provision that bars insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing health conditions. Democrats have already begun to attack the legislation.

Both the Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees are scheduled to review parts of the legislation beginning Wednesday. The bill will then move on to the Budget and Rules committees. Many Republicans are still wary of the plan because of its unknown price tag. The Congressional Budget Office has yet to release its scoring of the bill.

The proposed bill would also repeal subsidies the government provides under the Affordable Care Act to help low-income people pay deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for insurance purchased through the public marketplaces, while increasing the tax benefits for health savings accounts (HSAs).

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