House Republican leaders shared general descriptions Thursday with rank-and-file lawmakers of how they'd propose replacing President Barack Obama's health care law, with little detail. Highlights are based on a document distributed to legislators obtained by The Associated Press and interviews with lawmakers, aides and lobbyists:
Medicaid: Phases out Obama's expanded Medicaid coverage for more low-income people that 31 states accepted, which is nearly completely financed by federal funds. States could continue covering current beneficiaries for an undefined "limited period," but the extra federal money would expire. The 19 states that didn't expand would get additional money. In the future, states could decide to receive Medicaid money based on the fluctuating number of beneficiaries in the state and other health factors, or a lump sum.
Obama's Individual Mandate: Penalty for not buying coverage would end immediately. During transition away from Obama's system of subsidizing most people who buy insurance on online marketplaces, younger people could get slightly bigger subsidies than today and those for older people might get smaller. That's an attempt to draw younger, healthier people into insurance markets in hopes of stabilizing them that's opposed by groups representing seniors like AARP.
Tax Credits: Available for people not covered by employers or government agencies. Paid in advance, refundable so people with little or no tax liability would get an IRS check. Higher credit for older people, not based on income. Not usable for plans that cover abortions.
Taxes: All or some of the Obama overhaul's tax increases on high-earners, health care companies and others would be repealed. Taxes could be levied on the value of employer-provided health coverage exceeding $12,000 for individuals, $30,000 for families.
Health Savings Accounts: People could contribute more than current annual limits of $3,400 for individuals, $6,750 for families.
High-Risk Pools: States would get federal money to help people with costly conditions to afford coverage.
Medicare: Proposes no changes.
Costs: No estimates provided.
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