Mar 6, 2017

The biggest changes in the Obamacare repeal and replacement bill

((Anthony Wahl / The Janesville Gazette via AP)

The House's Obamacare repeal and replacement bill, expected to be released later tonight, has been changed in some significant ways to address conservatives' concerns, Politico reports.

  • The bill no longer caps the tax break for employer-sponsored coverage benefits. Instead, it keeps Obamacare's "Cadillac tax" on expensive benefits. However, the tax is delayed until 2025. It's currently set to go into effect in 2020.
  • The tax credits are now means tested, as well as varying by age. Individuals making more than $75,000 and households earning more than $150,000 would have reduced tax credits. Those earning more than $215,000 individually or $290,000 jointly would not receive tax credits.
  • Obamacare's Medicaid expansion is still phased out, and a per-person cap on spending still replaces the current open-ended matching system. However, the spending growth rate in future years is reduced, meaning states get less money over time.
  • The repeal of many of Obamacare's taxes is delayed until 2018, a year after the old version would have repealed them.

The bottom line: These changes make the bill look significantly more like Obamacare. It's anyone's guess how both conservative and moderate Republicans will react.

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