Friday, May 26, 2017

House Healthcare Bill 2017

The US House passed their Bill and sent it to the Senate. See below:

House Narrowly Passes GOP Health Care Bill, by Leigh Ann Caldwell, 5/4/17
Here are the key measures in the House bill:
·       Mandates: It guts the IRS requirement in Obamacare that people with purchase health insurance or face a fine.
·       Tax credits: The bill replaces subsidies for people to purchase insurance in the individual market in the Affordable Care Act based on income with refundable tax credits based on age. The impact is that it will provide more people with assistance but with fewer dollars, especially for the older Americans.
·       Medicaid: The Medicaid expansion is frozen immediately and in two years the states can start to adopt either a block grant for the program or a new formula based on population instead of need. In an attempt to make the bill more conservative, work requirements have been added for most able-bodied recipients who aren't pregnant or caring for a child under 6.
·       High risk pools: The bill provides $130 billion to states over ten years for high risk insurance pools to cover the most expensive to insure. A new amendment by Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan adds an additional $8 billion to assist people with pre-existing conditions.
·       State waivers: States can obtain waivers so insurers don't have to offer robust benefits packages that include maternity care and mental health coverage. Waivers can also be obtained to charge sicker people and people with pre-existing conditions more. Those people would most likely then go into the high risk insurance pools.
·       Taxes: It repeals every Obamacare tax including the .9 percent tax on couples making more than $250,000 and a 3.8 percent tax on investment income.
·       Health Savings Accounts: The measure increases the allowable contribution limits of Health Savings Accounts
·       Other: It keeps the Obamacare provision that people under the age of 26 can stay on their parents' insurance.
This Bill removes cost-shifting of catastrophic coverage from the healthy to the government.  The High Risk Pools sets up $130 billion in federal funding to States through block grants to pay for catastrophic care. That should remove a lot of liability from insurance premiums. Tax Credits and State Wavers require more explanation as the Senate reviews the House version.

Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

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