Latest Amendments to Republican “Ryancare” Bill

Republicans on Monday night posted the manager’s amendment to the American Health Care Act. Most of the changes earlier on Monday include:

– Giving states the option of establishing a work requirement for Medicaid recipients or choosing a lump sum payment instead of payments based on the number of enrollees.

– Repeal of all of Obamacare’s taxes in 2017 instead of 2018 and moving repeal of the health law’s Cadillac tax from 2025 to 2026.

– Setting up a fund to establish additional tax help for Baby Boomers aged 50 to 64 who would have seen their premiums spike under the original bill.

– Immediately prohibiting additional states from expanding Medicaid. It would also “freeze” Medicaid enrollment at ACA levels on Dec. 31, 2019, meaning new enrollees could not sign up at Obamacare payment rates.

– Technical changes, some of which appear designed to avoid violating the Senate’s Byrd rule on a budget measure.

– No longer allowing consumers to move leftover tax credits to Health Savings Accounts.

– Setting a new Medicaid growth rate for aged and disabled populations.

Latest Amendments to Healthcare Bill

How analysts see it. The decision to rewrite the tax credit provisions in the manager’s amendment could be the most significant change, said Chris Jacobs of Juniper Research, a former Senate Republican health care staffer. The “technical” fix may turn out to be necessary to get the bill through the Senate parliamentarian’s review, Jacobs added in his analysis.

… Larry Levitt of Kaiser Family Foundation said the revisions mean the GOP’s health plan won’t be as much of a money saver as the Congressional Budget Office originally thought. The nonpartisan scorekeeper projected the original bill would cut federal deficits by $337 billion.

“To win votes, the manager’s amendment looks to spend more in tax credits to help older adults [and] also repeals the ACA’s taxes sooner and further delays the Cadillac plan tax, reducing revenues,” Levitt points out. “That’s not good arithmetic when it comes to the federal budget deficit.”

Four on-the-fence Republicans officially throw their support behind the revised bill. Reps. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), Thomas MacArthur (R-N.J.), Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) and Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) said they were won over by changes to reduce costs for low-income middle-aged Americans.

Updated CBO score is coming before Thursday’s vote. That’s according to Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady, speaking with reporters on Monday.

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