Written by Sarah Torrico, Policy Intern
On Tuesday, June 7, 2016, Speaker Paul Ryan and House Republicans unveiled an agenda entitled “A Better Way”, that Ryan says demonstrates what Republicans hope to achieve with the election wins of November. In the portion entitled “A Better Way to Fix Health Care”, the proposal details proposed changes to healthcare.
Healthcare in “A Better Way”
“The fundamentals of how the system would operate calls for large changes in healthcare.”
Set to go into effect in 2020 if passed, the “Better Way” plan would replace Obamacare entirely. The package maintains employer-based program options while those who do not have insurance from an employer, Medicare or Medicaid would receive refundable tax credits that can be used to purchase plans in the individual market. If a recipient of credits chooses a plan that is less expensive than the credit amount, the difference would funnel into an account similar to a Health Saving Account (HSA) which could be used towards paying out-pocket costs and future medical expenses.
The fundamentals of how the system would operate calls for large changes to healthcare. The Medicaid program would become block-grant funded, meaning that individual states would be responsible for management rather than remaining a centrally-run federal system. Those who are covered under Medicare would be able to choose from private plans alongside traditional Medicare options beginning in 2024. Tax credits would be flat across the board and would not adjust overtime to inflation. However, Ryan has kept the component that allows people 26 years and younger to stay covered under their parents insurance.
The proposal states explicitly that patients with pre-existing conditions would not be turned away based on their health statuses. It also states that Medicare premium support payments would allocate more to those with conditions that have worsened. Low-income seniors would also receive extra assistance in covering out-pocket payments, which would be subsidized by higher-income seniors paying higher premiums.
Check back soon for our next post which will look at proposed changes to the tax code and financial access. You can find the entire “A Better Way” agenda here.
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