Republican lawmakers eager to repeal the Affordable Care Act are pushing tax credits and much greater freedom for states and health insurers to make healthcare-finance policy as the GOP starts to present its plan to replace the ACA.
The Republican program, which President Obama is expected to veto, would end ACA coverage requirements for individuals and employers, end expansion of Medicaid, kill state and HealthCare.gov federal insurance marketplaces and, indeed, end virtually everything else under the ACA, including taxes ”it imposes on medical devices and other things to finance enlarged coverage,” the Associated Press reported.
On Medicaid, the GOP plan would give states much more freedom in how to spend money in that federal-state pr0gram — even as more conservative states now seek the ACA’s added Medicaid money.
Given President Obama’s veto pen, we suspect that most of the Republican offensive is primarily rhetorical, leading up to the 2016 presidential election. And because the ACA has already developed powerful constituencies of beneficiaries, it’s far from clear how the GOP program will play politically in 2016, especially given that voter turnout is always higher in presidential-election years than in others.