House Speaker Paul Ryan introduced the GOP’s alternative to Obamacare on Wednesday, the first comprehensive proposal Congressional Republicans have offered despite more than 60 attempts to repeal President Obama’s signature healthcare law — the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
“We’re not going to repeal Obamacare when the current president of the United States is a guy named Obama. What we are laying out today is a first-time-in-six-years consensus by the Republicans in the House on what we replace Obamacare with” Ryan told reporters when unveiling details of the plan.
The fifth component of Ryan and the House GOP’s “A Better Way” agenda, the Republican reform culls favored segments of the ACA, such as allowing individuals to remain on family plans until age 26, and prohibiting those with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage.
Ryan’s plan also comprises long-time GOP staples: It allows healthcare seekers to purchase plans across state lines, expands healthcare savings accounts, reforms medical liability regulations and turns federal Medicaid funds for the poor into block grants to states.
Among Ryan’s new proposals: States which have expanded Medicaid under ACA would be allowed to offer additional coverage to those enrolled, but would prohibit further expansion for new states which have not done so and for those who are not covered under employee insurance programs, the GOP measure would create a refundable tax credit and provide subsidies if they do not qualify for Medicaid.
Ryan’s proposal also raises the Medicare eligibility age to 67, matching Social Security’s mandatory age.
Blasting the plan, the White House and Congressional Democrats said the latest GOP attempt to rollback Obamacare was simply a rehash of time-worn ideas.
Watch Speaker Ryan’s full remarks from the American Enterprise Institute below: