The American Health Care Act — Republicans’ proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare — passed the House in a close vote Thursday afternoon.
The bill would likely cause millions to lose health insurance coverage. We don’t know how many because the latest version of the Republican plan has not yet been scored by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to estimate how many people it would cover and how much it would cost. The most recent score for the bill, before new amendments offered in recent weeks, found that 24 million more people would be uninsured by 2026.
Still, even without the CBO score, we have a very good sense of how the bill would work, whom it benefits, and whom it disadvantages:
- Some of Obamacare’s signature features would be gone immediately, such as the tax on people who don’t purchase health care, known as the “individual mandate.” Other protections, including the provision that allows young adults to stay on their parents’ plan through age 26, would survive.
- States would have the option to get waivers from two of Obamacare’s requirements: that insurers cover “essential health benefits,” and that they charge the same price to everyone regardless of their health history. That would get rid of a key protection for people with preexisting conditions. An amendment added to the AHCA in late April allows states to opt out of Obamacare’s “community rating” requirement — which says that all people, healthy and sick, should be charged the same prices — for people who do not maintain continuous health insurance coverage.
Read more at Vox.