Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate health committee, has a new plan for how to repeal and replace Obamacare. It might be something the growing coalition of Republicans nervous about repealing now and replacing later can support.
This is how it would work:
- First would be the "rescue" phase (detailed below)
- Next, the GOP would come up with a replacement once markets stabilize
- Then they'd repeal what's left of Obamacare
Will it work?: From a policy perspective, Alexander's plan, which uses both legislation and executive action, makes a lot of sense. Politically, many of its components will be way too much for conservatives to stomach. Watch to see how many moderates get on board. It won't take many to tank the leadership's plan.
For wonks: Alexander's plan puts more details on the table than we've seen before. Here are some things the first part of the plan would include.
- The new administration would give states more flexibility on Medicaid and plan design in the individual market. It'd also loosen the essential health benefits requirements.
- Congress would pass a law allowing Obamacare subsidies to be used by individuals to purchase plans outside of the exchanges.
- Repeal of the employer mandate.
- Pay for the cost sharing reduction subsidies.
- Repeal of individual mandate only once new market rules are in place.
- Adjustment of special enrollment periods.