A group of Senate and House Republicans have revealed the Republican Party’s replacement plan for the ACA that contains no healthcare and would take away coverage from 22.5 million Americans.
Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Richard Burr (R-NC), and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) introduced their answer to the ACA, which they have named the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment (CARE) Act.
According to Republicans the “CARE Act” would:
Establish sustainable, patient-focused reforms:
Adopt common-sense consumer protections;
Create a new protection to help Americans with pre-existing conditions;
Empower small businesses and individuals with purchasing power;
Empower states with more tools to help provide coverage while reducing costs; and
Strengthen consumer directed health care and allow Americans to buy coverage across state lines.
Modernize Medicaid to provide better coverage and care to patients:
Transition to capped allotment to provide states with predictable funding and flexibility.
Reduce defensive medicine and rein in frivolous lawsuits:
Medical Malpractice reforms.
Increase health care price transparency to empower consumers and patients:
Require basic health care transparency to inform and empower patients.
Reduce distortions in the tax code that drive up health care costs:
Cap the exclusion of an employee’s employer-provided health coverage.
Empower Small Businesses and Individuals with Purchasing Power:
Targeted tax credit to help buy health care
What the CARE Act doesn’t contain is health care. At the very bottom of the list of what the bill does, you will see that the legislation will provide tax credits for people to buy health care. The problem for tens of millions of Americans will be that they will first have to buy the policy in order to qualify for the tax credit. If a person or family can’t afford the policy, they won’t have insurance.
The CARE Act also does not contain any mechanism for transferring people who are currently enrolled in health care exchanges to new subsidized coverage. Instead of expanding Medicaid, the Republican plan caps funding. This means that all of the people who have gotten health care through the Medicaid will be thrown off of their insurance.
The Republicans have introduced a health care plan that doesn’t contain any health care. These are the same old ideas that Republicans have been trying to dress up as health care reform for decades. The Republican plan will drive up health care costs, and throw millions of people off of their current coverage. It will allow insurance companies to discriminate and price gouge. It will drive up the cost of prescription drugs for seniors. The Republican plan would also toss 3 million children off of their parents’ health insurance.
Republicans have unveiled a plan that would take away health care from at least 22.5 million Americans. (19.5 million Americans have gotten coverage under the ACA through the exchanges and Medicaid expansion, another 3 million are on their parents’ health insurance.) The Republican plan replaces the ACA with nothing.
A better name for this bill would be the (Don’t) CARE Act because the message from Republicans is that they don’t care if the American people can’t afford health care.