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Republicans propose Obamacare replacement

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As battles over the federal budget and health care reform continue, the House Republican Study Committee has proposed an Obamacare replacement.

As outlined on the RSC website, The American Health Care Reform Act: A Better Way would begin by fully repealing Obamacare, then move on to the following:

• Replace the current uncapped tax benefit for employer-sponsored health insurance and the self-employed tax deduction with an above-the-line standard deduction for health insurance. Those with a qualifying health plan would receive a deduction of $7,500 for individuals or $20,000 for families on income and payroll taxes.

• Expand federal support for state high-risk pools to $25 billion over 10 years, capping premiums in those pools at 200 percent of the average premium in the state.

• Guarantee that individuals with pre-existing conditions can move between the large group, small group and individual health insurance markets, so long as they maintain continuous coverage.

• Allow Americans to purchase health insurance products across state lines.

• Permit small businesses to pool together to negotiate better rates.

• Amend the McCarran-Ferguson Act to ensure that federal antitrust law applies to health insurance.

• Make Medicare claims and payment data publicly available so that patients and taxpayers alike can better understand what they are being charged.

• Help states develop transparency portals with useful information on insurance plans.

• Stop the federal government from denying coverage for health care services based upon comparative effectiveness data.

• Implement medical liability legal reforms that include caps on noneconomic damages and limits to attorneys' fees but set no caps on economic damages.

• Provides that nothing in the act requires health plans to provide coverage of abortion services or permits any government official to require coverage of abortion.

• Prohibits federal funds authorized or appropriated by the act from covering abortion, except in the case of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is jeopardized.

• Ensures that no state pro-life or conscience protection laws will be preempted.

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer covers Lancaster County, nonprofits, education and health care. Have a tip or question for her? Email her at heathers@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter, @StaufferCPBJ.

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