Now that the House has narrowly passed legislation overhauling the nation’s health-care system, the measure is headed to the Senate.
The bill, named the American Health Care Act, still has to pass through the Senate, where major changes were expected to be made. Republican leaders will wrestle with political and procedural challenges complicating chances for final passage.
Republican senators are signaling that their strategy will be rooted in crafting their own replacement for the Affordable Care Act. It remains unclear how closely that measure will resemble the one that narrowly passed in the House on Thursday, May 4 or whether GOP senators will resolve their stark differences.
Here's what you need to know about the current bill:
• The bill would eliminate tax penalties the Affordable Care Act put on people who don't buy coverage. • It would erase tax increases Obamacare put on higher-earning people and the health industry.
• It would retain the ACA's requirement that family policies cover grown children until age 26.
• The bill would cut the Medicaid program for some low-income people and would allow states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. • It would block federal payments to Planned Parenthood for a year. • The bill would transform Obamacare subsidies for millions buying insurance – largely based on people's incomes and premium costs – into tax credits that rise with consumers' ages. • It would allow insurers to charge older people up to five times as much as younger. • It would allow states to get federal waivers, freeing insurers from other Affordable Care Act coverage requirements. • The bill would set aside more than $130 billion for high-risk pools, aimed at helping seriously ill people pay expensive premiums.
• It would allow states to permit insurers to charge more for pre-existing conditions. • It would prohibit insurers from imposing lifetime or annual limits on coverage. • The bill would establish "patient and state stability fund" to help states service low-income Americans.
In its review of an early version of the bill, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that 24 million fewer people would have coverage by 2026 as compared to current law. The majority of those would have qualified for Medicaid under Obamacare. Major health insurance lobbying groups are concerned about the bill's impact on all these folks, many of whom are their customers.