Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Rep. Mark Sanford (R-South Carolina) have introduced an Obamacare replacement bill in Congress on Wednesday.
The Daily Signal reports that the bill has already received unanimous approval from the House Freedom Caucus, a group of around 40 conservative legislators in the lower chamber.
The bill is called the Obamacare Replacement Act and includes incentives for consumers to increase their contributions to health savings accounts (HSAs), as well as allowing those who are not provided health insurance through their place of employment to deduct premiums from their taxable incomes.
Another feature of the bill is the provision allowing individuals and small businesses to join forces through membership in an Association Health Plan to obtain health insurance.
These measures are all ultimately aimed at decreasing health insurance costs for consumers.
“We’re excited about the fact that it will finally be able to address many of the concerns that we’re hearing, whether it’s at town halls or personal calls from our constituents about pre-existing conditions, about how to empower the consumer in terms of their health care choice, and ultimately drive down the price of health care,” House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, (R-North Carolina), said Wednesday.
There are still a number of issues which lawmakers are working through regarding the bill, such as whether or not to keep Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion or the provision that allows children to remain on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26.
Nevertheless, this is a major step forward for conservatives who have been growing anxious to take action toward repeal and replace.
“This is a big, big day for conservative Republicans,” Paul told reporters Thursday. “We owe this to the conservatives around the country who elected us to repeal, to completely repeal, Obamacare. But I think if you’re going to completely repeal something, you should replace it.”
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Publication date: February 16, 2017