The Alternative to Obamacare, originally developed by Jeffrey Anderson and released by the 2017 Project as A Winning Alternative to Obamacarefirst released on February 10, 2014, starts by fully repealing Obamacare. The replacement consists of three major components:

  • Obamacare’s income-related subsidies are replaced with less expensive tax credits that vary only by age (0-17, 18-34, 35-49 and 50-64).
  • The long-standing tax exclusion for employer-provided health insurance coverage is retained, but the ACA’s Cadillac tax is replaced by a functionally-equivalent cap on the amount of the exclusion (set at the 75th percentile of annual employer sponsored insurance premiums); workers  in firms with fewer than 50 full-time-equivalent workers would be allowed to purchase non-group coverage with tax credits.
  • Annual contribution limits for health savings accounts are increased to $6,250 for individuals and $12,500 for families. As well, enrollees in health savings accounts are eligible to receive a one-time, refundable tax credit of $1,000 to be deposited directly into the account.

The Patient CARE Act, introduced on February 4, 2015 and sponsored by Senators Burr (R-NC) and Hatch (R-UT) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), starts by fully repealing Obamacare “except for the changes to Medicare”.  The replacement consists of three major components:

  • Medicaid is reformed by imposing a capped per-beneficiary allotment adjusted for inflation (a less stringent form of block-granting Medicaid insofar as it automatically adjusts for changes in the number of Medicaid eligibles);
  • Obamacare’s income-related subsidies are replaced with less expensive tax credits that vary by age, family status and income (disappearing above 300 percent of federal poverty level).
  • The long-standing tax exclusion for employer-provided health insurance coverage is retained, but the ACA’s Cadillac tax is replaced by a functionally-equivalent cap on the amount of the exclusion ($12,000 for single and $30,000 for family coverage); workers  in firms with fewer than 100+ workers would be allowed to purchase non-group coverage with tax credits.

Congress often waits for a new president to take office before it gets down to business. This year, Republicans will drop that custom in their dash to scrap the Affordable Care Act.

Within hours of the new Congress convening on Tuesday, the House plans to adopt a package of rules to clear the way for repealing the health care law and replacing it with as-yet-unspecified measures meant to help people obtain insurance coverage.

Then, in the week of Jan. 9, according to a likely timetable sketched out by Representative Greg Walden, Republican of Oregon, the House will vote on a budget blueprint, which is expected to call for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

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Democrats are warning that once ObamaCare is repealed, people with serious illnesses won’t be able to get health insurance. President Obama says repeal will mean going “back to discriminating against Americans with pre-existing conditions.”

That’s fake news.

The truth is, all Republican proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act protect people with pre-existing conditions.

Likewise, they all eliminate ObamaCare’s invidious discrimination against healthy people. ObamaCare forces the healthy to pay the same premiums as the chronically ill, whose medical costs run 10 times as high. That’s because a mere 5 percent of the population consumes half the nation’s health care.

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President Barack Obama will head to Capitol Hill Wednesday to meet with congressional Democrats about how to shield Obamacare from Republican efforts to dismantle it, a Capitol Hill source told POLITICO.

The meeting is at 9 a.m. in the Congressional Visitors Center auditorium and is for both House and Senate Democrats, according to a notice sent to members Friday morning.

With Republican vowing to begin repealing Obamacare almost immediately when the 115th Congress convenes next week, Democratic lawmakers are immersed in strategy sessions on how to protect the nearly seven-year-old health care law.

Republican leaders in Congress and the incoming Trump administration have said that they plan to move quickly to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the early weeks of 2017, with a delay in the date of when key aspects of the repeal would become effective until perhaps 2019 or 2020. This is the so-called “repeal and delay” option. They have also pledged to replace the law in separate legislation, or a series of bills, that would come later, although it is not clear what the replacement would look like or when it would pass.

We do not support this approach to repealing and replacing the ACA because it carries too much risk of unnecessary disruption to the existing insurance arrangements upon which many people are now relying to finance their health services, and because it is unlikely to produce a coherent reform of health care in the United States. The most likely end result of “repeal and delay” would be less secure insurance for many Americans, procrastination by political leaders who will delay taking any proactive steps as long as possible, and ultimately no discernible movement toward a real marketplace for either insurance or medical services.

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Medicaid has grown in size in recent years, with ObamaCare extending coverage to millions of low-income people who hadn’t qualified before. But Republicans warn of the program’s growing costs and have pushed to provide that money to states in the form of block grants — an idea President-elect Donald Trump endorsed during the campaign.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence signaled in an interview with ABC this month that the incoming administration planned to keep Medicare as it is, while looking at ways to change Medicaid.

“I think President-elect Trump made it very clear in the course of the campaign that, as president, we’re going to keep our promises in Social Security and Medicare,” Pence told ABC. “With regard to Medicaid, though, I will tell you, there’s a real opportunity, there’s a real opportunity as we repeal and replace ObamaCare to do exactly what the president-elect also said on the campaign, and that is block granting Medicaid back to the states.”

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A small group of hospital executives and physicians met with president-elect Donald Trump at his Florida estate Wednesday, where they discussed ways to improve health care for veterans, as well as the Affordable Care Act and related issues.

Sean Spicer, Trump’s press secretary, said the main focus was how to reform the VA health care system and “provide better quality and timely care to veterans.” Also discussed, he said, was Obamacare, costs, access, and quality of care.

Dr. Paul Rothman, CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, said he was thankful and encouraged by the meeting at Mar-a-Lago.

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Cost overruns are endemic to government health programs, and ObamaCare is turning out to be no different. Not only are its Medicaid expansion costs exploding, skyrocketing premiums are now pushing insurance subsidy costs through the roof.

A new study from the Center for Health and Economy finds that because of the double-digit premium increases across the country, federal spending on ObamaCare’s insurance subsidies will shoot up by nearly $10 billion next year

That’s because the amount of the subsidy is directly tied to the cost of insurance in any given market. The Obama administration treats this as a cardinal virtue of ObamaCare, because the subsidies largely shield eligible enrollees from premium rate shocks. In fact, the administration has argued that higher premiums are a good thing, because they make more people eligible for those subsidies.

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Judging by appointments to top posts in health care, the incoming Trump administration is on course to validate its campaign promise to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. Despite the emphasis by many on preserving secondary parts of the law like maintaining children up to age 26 on the parent’s coverage, Americans should understand that the ACA indeed must be eliminated. Why? Because its misguided amalgam of regulations generated skyrocketing insurance premiums, reduced choice of doctors, funneled millions more poor people into substandard programs and accelerated consolidation throughout the health care industry– serious consequences directly harmful to patients.

The ACA’s biggest error was broadening a detrimental misapplication of health insurance that began decades ago. The point of insurance is to reduce risk of financial disaster. Instead, with its long list of mandates and regulations, the ACA furthered the inappropriate construct that insurance should subsidize all medical care and minimize out-of-pocket payments. The ACA’s coverage requirements directly caused more widespread adoption of bloated insurance. When combined with invisible health care prices as well as doctor qualifications, most patients have virtually no incentive and lack sufficient information to consider value; similarly, providers don’t need to compete on price. The consequences are the overuse of health care and unrestrained costs. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), tax-sheltered accounts for smaller health expenses, are a critical component of reform, because they motivate direct consideration of price. Better than simple tax deductions, HSAs also incentivize saving.

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