- After six years, an outline of a plan to repeal and replace the ACA has finally hit the streets.
- Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the 37-page document this morning.
- CDC noted in 2015, 9.1% of the American population was uninsured, 7.4 million fewer persons than in 2014. From Q4 2013 to Q1 2015, the percentage of American adults who experienced difficulty in the past year affording healthcare or medicine dropped from 19% to 15.5%, a new Gallup study stated.
“Everyone knows Republicans are against Obamacare," Ryan was quoted on C-SPAN yesterday. "We’ve got that part down. What people need to know is that we have good ideas for what we ought to replace it with that reduces the cost of insurance that gives people more choices, that doesn’t create entitlements that bankrupt the country and that gives us a patient-centered system."
The whitepaper noted various policies to achieve the GOP's goals, including:
- Expanding consumer choice via consumer-directed healthcare;
- Making coverage support portable;
- Preserving employer-sponsored health insurance;
- Buying coverage across state lines;
- Expanding pooling opportunities; and
- Preserving employee wellness programs.
“The stale ideas rolled out today would take our country backwards — back to coverage denials, back to co-pays for preventive care, back to annual coverage caps, back to risk of poverty for our seniors due to high health costs,” HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell was quoted in The Huffington Post. “It’s time to come together to build on the progress we’ve made, not tear it down.”
As The Huffington Post's Jeffrey Young has noted, the outline contains well-worn GOP healthcare ideas that have either not worked or not really been attempted.
But the truth is that the GOP has finally presented the shell of a plan to do away with the ACA. But it took some time. In that time (six years), the ACA is by and large considered the lay of the land whereas if it were repealed, such an action would take away coverage from about 20 million Americans.
Whether the plan is an outline to present to constituents after failing to make good on a promise of repealing Obamacare after six years or a viable outline that could possibly fuel six more years of infighting while Americans continue to receive health coverage remains to be seen.