Posted April 09, 2020 11:14:58 Republicans are proposing a massive new entitlement program that would be used to provide subsidies to the insurance companies and other employers who provide health insurance.
They are hoping to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, or Obamacare, and replace it with a plan that is more favorable to the wealthy.
The legislation would create a national health insurance program, known as “exchange subsidies.”
Under the legislation, a company or other employer would be required to offer its employees coverage at a lower cost than it currently offers to employees who buy their own insurance.
The companies would also have to offer their employees a minimum benefit of $7,500 per year.
The Congressional Budget Office, which has been studying the health care reform legislation for months, estimates the subsidies would cost $1.4 trillion over a decade.
The plan has drawn criticism from Democrats who have called it a giveaway to the rich and the insurance industry, which they say would hurt the middle class and undermine public health.
The Senate Finance Committee, which is holding a markup on the legislation Thursday, is expected to vote on the measure this week.
Republicans say that the subsidies are designed to help low-income workers buy coverage for themselves, and to allow them to afford health care costs for themselves and their families.
The proposal also would create new tax credits for individuals to buy insurance on the individual market and expand coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.
But Democrats say it would hurt middle-class workers, especially people with young children and low incomes.
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., chairman of the committee, told reporters Friday that the measure is aimed at creating “more jobs, not more health care for people who don’t need it.”
The Congressional Black Caucus, which represents about 25 million black Americans, has also criticized the legislation as a giveaway.
The Black Caucus has argued that many people with health problems or disabilities, who rely on public programs like Medicaid and Medicare, would be unable to afford the premium subsidies under the plan.
Democrats have been pushing for health care reforms in Congress for decades.
They have sought to improve coverage for the poor and provide health care to the elderly and disabled.
The House passed legislation last year to provide federal subsidies to purchase health insurance for millions of Americans, but it stalled in the Senate.
The new proposal would allow insurers to offer health insurance that’s more expensive than the cost of the plan, without offering subsidies to people who buy individual coverage.
That would help lower premiums and encourage people to sign up for the program.
Democrats are pushing for a similar package of health care legislation in the House, but have not yet filed legislation.
Republican leaders say the subsidies will help middle-income Americans buy coverage, and they argue that the legislation will be more cost-effective for the government.
They say that people buying health insurance on their own or through an employer are eligible for the subsidies and the cost is the same for them as it is for individuals.
If passed, the House plan would provide a new tax credit of up to $7000 per family per year for purchasing health insurance from any insurance company.
But that credit would be capped at $3,000 for individuals and $5,000 per person for families.
Under the Senate bill, the credits would be based on the percentage of income the individual pays in premiums, not on their income.
Democrats say that’s unfair to the poorest people, who pay the highest premiums in the country.
Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, a key sponsor of the House bill, said the Senate plan is better because it would provide tax credits that would make it more attractive to people.
“We’re not looking to give them a subsidy that they’re going to be able to pay off, and that’s a problem,” Portman said.
The CBO also estimates that the federal health insurance subsidy would be $1,800 per family.
The Affordable Care for All bill would also provide tax credit for up to two adults and two children and $300 per dependent for each family.
Those subsidies would not apply to a family with an individual or a couple who do not have coverage, or for parents with dependent children.
That subsidy would also apply to children who are enrolled in public programs such as Medicaid.
If the legislation passes, the federal government would not pay for the tax credits but instead would cover the cost.
That funding would be paid by the Treasury.
It is not clear how many people would be eligible for that subsidy under the Senate proposal.