House Republicans on Monday unveiled their long-awaited legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

The two measures dismantle the core aspects of ObamaCare, including its subsidies to help people buy coverage, its expansion of Medicaid, its taxes and its mandates for people to have insurance. (READ THE BILLS HERE AND HERE.)

In its place, Republicans would put in place a new system centered on a tax credit to help people buy insurance.

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How should the GOP move forward on Obamacare? First, they must honor their promise to repeal the law. Second, Republicans can’t make it worse; instead, they need to fix the problem. They can do this by: 1.) Beginning with the 2015 reconciliation bill repeal language, 2.) Also repealing the insurance regulations, and 3.) Focusing on areas of consensus among Republicans. Don’t try to replace one 2,000-page monstrosity with another. Instead, adopt common-sense specific reforms that will increase competition, drive down costs, expand choices and put patients back in charge of their health care.

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President Donald Trump, heading into a critical stretch of Republicans’ push to rewrite the Affordable Care Act, acknowledged Monday the effort would be complex and politically risky, but said he is determined to forge ahead because the ACA is a “disaster.”

“Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated,” Mr. Trump told a group of Republican governors after meeting with them and insurers—two groups whose cooperation could make or break the attempt to overturn the law some call Obamacare.

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Spending on prescription drugs for health plans created under the Affordable Care Act increased last year at a rate more than three times that of other commercial plans and most government-run plans managed by Express Scripts Holding Co.

Express Scripts, the largest manager of prescription drug plans for U.S. employers, on Tuesday said year-over-year spending per person for individual insurance plans sold on the Obamacare exchanges where it manages the pharmacy benefit rose 14% in 2016, driven by higher drug prices and utilization.

Express Scripts said per-capita spending for other commercial plans it manages, mostly for employers, rose just 3.8% last year, despite an 11% increase in list prices for brand-name drugs.

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With the passage of the ACA, Congress promised Americans that they would be able to keep the plans and doctors they like while paying less for health insurance and healthcare overall. Seven years later, many Americans have fewer choices when it comes to health decisions and are paying more for care and insurance. The State Policy Network has compiled stories from around the country that highlight state and local challenges and represent the need for a state-based approach that unleashes innovation in health care based upon the needs of citizens.

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In the populist era of the early 20th century, the people’s rage was directed not at political elites or government, as it is today, but at huge private monopolies, the “trusts.” Teddy Roosevelt’s trustbusting campaign helped establish competition as America’s fundamental mechanism for inducing private businesses to serve the public. If today’s populists are equally serious about protecting ordinary people, they should declare a similar war against monopoly in health-care markets.

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The shaky case for the individual mandate is based on mistaken premises, faulty economic analysis, short-sighted politics, and flawed health policy. Opponents have found the mandate to be administratively challenging, politically unsustainable, economically unnecessary, beyond the proper role of government, and constitutionally questionable. Arguments in favor of the individual mandate usually present it as a necessary, though far less popular, means to more laudable ends.

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Republicans are nervous about repealing ObamaCare’s supposed ban on discrimination against patients with pre-existing conditions. But a new study by Harvard and the University of Texas-Austin finds those rules penalize high-quality coverage for the sick, reward insurers who slash coverage for the sick, and leave patients unable to obtain adequate insurance.

The researchers estimate a patient with multiple sclerosis, for example, might file $61,000 in claims. ObamaCare’s rules let MS patients buy coverage for far less, forcing insurers to take a loss on every MS patient. That creates “an incentive to avoid enrolling people who are in worse health” by making policies “unattractive to people with expensive health conditions,” the Kaiser Family Foundation explains.

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Obamacare has already failed, and it failed because the government violated several basic economic and free-market principles, resulting in devastating outcomes for those seeking coverage, people already covered, and taxpayers.

Under Obamacare, our most vulnerable citizens in Pennsylvania are paying more for health insurance with fewer choices. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, individual premiums increased by more than 50% in Philadelphia this year. Deductibles for a family plan now exceed $6,000, and the choices continue to shrink.

Pennsylvania’s health care delivery system should encourage participation in the health-insurance market rather than mandating it as Obamacare did, offer the option of using open network, lower-cost, catastrophic plans supported by health savings accounts, and place much greater emphasis on prevention and addressing the causes of poor health.

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