It keeps some key provisions of the Affordable Care Act but changes others.
While not all the details of the bill (called the American Health Care Act) have been shared, some info has been made public. Here’s what we know about the bill so far and how it might affect you or your family.
According to the New York Times, the bill will keep certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act, including mandates that prohibit insurers from both denying insurance to people with pre-existing conditions and capping benefits, and it will continue to allow people to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26.
However, one big way in which it will differ from the ACA is that it nixes the coverage mandate. Vox also reports that the new bill will get rid of the tax on people who don’t have insurance, but it will allow insurers to charge people who let their coverage lapse a fee if and when they choose to re-enter the market.
A few more things we know: The bill will keep the Medicaid expansion in place until 2020, at which point enrollment will “freeze,” and legislators will “expect enrollees to drop out of the program as their income changes,” though it’s unclear right now what that will look like in practical terms as well as how that might affect Medicaid spending.
The Atlantic reports that the new bill will also utilize a tax credit system that’s both age- and income-based. The example they cite: Under the new law, if it passes, a 30-year-old would be given $2,000 to put toward insurance every year, while a 60-year-old would get $4,000.
Regardless of age, the Atlantic reports that the credit applies to anyone making up to $75,000 (under the current law, people who earn more than $48,000 don’t receive any subsidies).
Another way the bill differs from Obamacare is that it will remove the restriction that prohibits insurers from charging older enrollees more than three times they do younger enrollees. Some analysts worry that while this could drive down premiums for people in their twenties, it could increase them for enrollees in their fifties and sixties.
Lastly, the bill also will not provide any tax credits to plans that cover elective abortions, and it prohibits federal funding to any health-related organizations (e.g. Planned Parenthood) that provide abortions.
Vox also notes that as of yet, the Congressional Budget Office has not scored the cost of the bill, so the estimated cost is unknown. It's also unclear how many people overall will either gain or lose coverage if the bill becomes law.