Republican leadership in the House and Senate have a fight on their hands as they try to push the American Health Care Act (AHCA) into law and the main opponents aren’t only going to be Democrats. The plan, unveiled yesterday, drew an immediate response from conservative GOP legislators, according to the New York Times. Some in the GOP are already calling it Obamacare lite.
Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, told the Times: “This is not the Obamacare repeal bill we’ve been waiting for. It is a missed opportunity and a step in the wrong direction. We promised the American people we would drain the swamp and end business as usual in Washington. This bill does not do that.”
One of the things conservative GOP legislators don’t like about the AHCA is that it does not stop the expansion of Medicaid begun under the ACA right away. They also dislike the tax credits the AHCA contain because they can amount to more than what a consumer owes in federal income taxes. That means the IRS would have to issue checks to cover insurance premiums, according to the Times. In addition, as with the ACA, the AHCA includes essential benefits that all insurers must cover.
Insurers did not have much to say about the bill, yesterday. For they most part they like the idea of a smooth transition, though some did question whether the tax credits in the AHCA would be enough to cover their expenses.
Alissa Fox, a senior vice president at the BlueCross BlueShield Association, said in a statement: “It is important that the tax credit for 2020 creates a marketplace that enables people to get the coverage they need at a price they can afford. We look forward to working with Congress to create a stable and affordable private market.”
Source: New York Times