Tuesday, March 7, 2017

GOP’s Obamacare Replacement Plan Faces Four Big Obstacles

First Read is a morning briefing from Meet the Press and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter

House Republicans have produced real legislation to replace Barack Obama's 2010 health-care law. That's the good news for them — and it eliminates a long-standing Democratic talking point that the GOP hasn't offered a real alternative to the law. The bad news for them is that their bill faces four obstacles, the biggest of which divide conservative and more moderate Republicans:
1. It essentially keeps Obamacare's architecture: The House GOP plan replaces the individual mandate with a 30% surcharge if customers go weeks without insurance, and it swaps Obamacare's subsidies for tax credits, per NBC's Maggie Fox. And that has received criticism from conservative Republicans. "Still have not seen an official version of the House Obamacare replacement bill, but from media reports this sure looks like Obamacare Lite!" Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) tweeted. Added Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI): "Obamacare 2.0," he said.
2. It phases out Medicaid expansion by 2020: While this likely will please many conservatives, it's bound to anger more moderate Republicans in states that have expanded Medicaid coverage. "While we support efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and make structural reforms to the Medicaid program, we are concerned that the February 10th draft proposal from the House of Representatives does not provide stability and certainty for individuals and families in Medicaid expansion programs or the necessary flexibility for states," Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said of an earlier GOP draft bill

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