House Republicans in March took the first step toward repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—also known as Obamacare—with the release of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA). However, following several days of negotiation and debate among House Republicans and President Donald Trump, Speaker Paul Ryan declared the bill dead when he determined there were not enough votes to pass it. Despite the withdrawal of the bill, many Republicans have maintained that repealing and replacing the ACA is still a priority.
To help stakeholders better understand how future federal legislation might impact Kansans, the Kansas Health Institute (KHI) has prepared an issue brief, Repealing and Replacing the Affordable Care Act: Key Provisions of the American Health Care Act. The brief describes the major policy issues under discussion among House Republicans and the White House in the debate of the AHCA, including:
- Repealing both the individual and employer mandates;
- Moving away from income-based tax credits to help individuals purchase health insurance;
- Eliminating cost-sharing subsidies for low-income individuals to reduce their out-of-pocket costs for deductibles, copayments and coinsurance;
- Eliminating some existing requirements to give health insurance companies greater flexibility in the design of health insurance plans;
- Making health insurance more affordable for young adults by expanding age-rating rules, possibly resulting in higher costs for older adults;
- Repealing Medicaid expansion and substantially changing the way state Medicaid programs are funded by the federal government; and
- Encouraging states to experiment and find ways to impact the cost of health insurance and health care for their citizens.
The Kansas Health Institute supports effective policymaking through nonpartisan research, education and engagement. KHI believes evidence-based information, objective analysis and civil dialogue enable policy leaders to be champions for a healthier Kansas. Established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, KHI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization based in Topeka.