House Republicans today threw yet another proposal onto the growing stack of plans aimed at repealing and replacing the president’s healthcare law once and for all.
Just days after the Obama administration announced that some 10 million people had purchased coverage on healthcare exchanges this year, the House Republican Study Committee unveiled its plan to completely gut Obamacare and replace it with its own alternative.
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The latest proposal would repeal the law—stripping away the individual and employer mandates—both key staples of Obamacare that bring in a large source of revenue to fund the law.
The GOP plan would get rid of the Obamacare’s premium tax credits, which are currently available to health exchange enrollees earning at or below 400 percent of the federal poverty level.
Instead, it would create standard tax deductions of about $7,500 a year for individuals and $20,500 a year for families for anyone with private insurance, including those getting coverage through their employer.
The proposal would also scrap Obamacare’s provision prohibiting insurers from discriminating against anyone with a pre-existing condition. In its place, it would reestablish state high-risk pools that would receive $25 billion from the federal government over the next decade to help cover the people in those pools.
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This particular plan does not address the potential fallout that may ensue if the Supreme Court rules against the Obama administration in the looming case of King v. Burwell.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said the group’s proposal does not include any interim plan to respond to an adverse ruling—which would result in more than 6 million people losing their subsidized health coverage in the next month or two.
“Let’s say King v. Burwell rules against the subsidies, which many of us expect it will. Our plan does not address that outcome,” Flores said. “We elected at the end of the day to not get into the weeds on what the interim step looks like after the court ruling.”
There are, however, a handful of proposals floating around to temporarily extend subsidies to Obamacare enrollees currently receiving the tax credits through the federal exchange in the event that the court strikes them down.
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One proposal by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) proposes to keep federal subsidies flowing through 2017 in exchange for repealing the law’s individual and employer mandates.
Separately, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LO) floated the idea of allowing states to disburse the federal funding that would have gone to federal tax credits directly to residents to pay for health coverage through health savings accounts.
Of course, as they stand now, it’s highly unlikely that any of these proposals would survive the president’s veto pen—since they all include provisions that would chip away at his healthcare law.
Still, the administration has stated numerous times that if the Court does strike down subsidies for some 6 million people, it does not have a contingency plan to deal with the fallout.
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