Caitlin Owens Feb 3, 2017
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The trouble with the piecemeal Obamacare replacement strategy


If the GOP follows through with its latest Obamacare repeal strategy — chopping up the replacement into a series of mini-bills — we may never know how health care costs and coverage under a new Republican plan compare to current law. That's because a true apples-to-apples comparison won't be possible that way, at least not for a long time.

"I think passing a replacement plan through multiple pieces could make it very hard to evaluate the effect on federal spending and the number of uninsured" compared to the Affordable Care Act, said Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

That's not the only issue with divvying the replacement up. The strategy relies on industry groups — particularly insurers — taking Republicans' word that the next pieces will all eventually get done. That's far from a given, especially if they can't get Democrats' help. Read on for more about the strategy and where it could break down.