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March 13, 2017

Republicans Unveil Affordable Care Act Replacement Legislation—What’s In It?

The Republican leadership of the U.S. House last week released draft legislation to repeal President Barack Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) health care reform bill. As The New York Times and Politico explain, the Republicans’ American Health Care Act (AHCA) would:

  • Repeal the employer mandate, which requires all businesses with 50 or more employees to provide health insurance coverage for workers that work an average of more than 30 hours per week.
  • Repeal the individual mandate, which requires individuals to be covered by health insurance, but replace it with a provision that allows insurance companies to impose a 30 percent surcharge on consumers who don’t keep “continuous” insurance coverage.
  • Preserve the ability for young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until they turn 26.
  • Require health insurers to accept applications from all consumers, regardless of pre-existing conditions.
  • Reform Medicaid and offer financial support to states that don’t expand Medicaid under the ACA by “making a series of funding changes and reinstating disproportionate share hospital payments.”
  • Eliminate the medical device tax and a surcharge on high-income individuals.
  • Replace ACA tax subsidies with “new age-based tax credits ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 to help individuals pay for coverage.”

The legislation would retain the Affordable Care Act’s tax on high value health insurance plans—a tax that the Metals Service Center Institute opposes and would like to see repealed. The GOP’s plan would delay the effective date of the tax, often called the “Cadillac tax,” from 2020 to 2025.