Johnson among GOP lukewarm on health care overhaul

Posted March 18, 2017

Amid the maneuvering, a government report said more than 12 million people have signed up for coverage this year under the very statute that President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans want to repeal.

"What we're finding out is what I knew along: When you give somebody something for nothing, it's going to be very hard to take it away", Deal said. "Obamacare had a limitation for certain health insurance providers that exceeds $500,000 paid to an officer, director or an employee".

The Republican plan would phase out the Affordable Care Act's nationwide expansion of Medicaid to 11 million additional low earners. These provisions result in the legislation failing to achieve Medicaid equity, while punishing states like Virginia that have conservatively managed their Medicaid programs. The program now costs the federal government around $370 billion annually and covers costs no matter the amounts.

But it's clear that the plan will mean less federal money for states over time. However, that amount is likely to change in future years - and would always be a capped amount. On CNN, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said changes might give states more "flexibility" to oversee Medicaid.

"It's going to reduce benefits, it's going to increase costs, exponentially for a lot of seniors who are on the health insurers exchange and on other health insurance programs, " he said. For coverage under the ACA's Medicaid expansion, we had to decide which states would participate in expansion in future years.* We chose to freeze state expansion status as of March 2017. "So it's uncertain whether the (Medicaid) program would be able to respond to, for example, an economic downturn".

Montanans buying health insurance on the individual market: This segment of the population is fairly small - about 80,000 people in Montana - but has been a key focus of the ACA. Robin Shank of Glasgow is one of them.

Independent analyses have said this change would benefit higher-income households, who can't get a subsidy now, and lead to more costs for those who are poor, older and live in rural areas. "If you want attractive clothes at Neiman Marcus (you can buy them) if you have a credit card", he said. "We think that will discourage coverage". John Thune of South Dakota, a member of the Republican leadership, asked for steps to make the bill "more helpful to people on the lower end".

After applying a $4,900 tax credit, a 64-year-old earning $26,500 a year would face annual premiums of $14,600 by 2026 under the GOP bill, the CBO reported.

According to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, about 44,000 Montanans got federal subsidies previous year to help buy these policies.

A study commissioned by AARP found that premiums for those 60 and over would jump an average of 22 percent, or $3,192, per year because of the higher prices.

The GOP's plan would create age-based tax credits for insurance premiums, rather than federal subsidies based on income and local insurance premiums costs that are part of current health care law.

For example, if you're under 30, your tax credit would be $2,000.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price says a Republican proposal now before Congress will provide greater access to health care.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the figures a day before the House Budget Committee plans to advance the GOP bill in a potentially tight vote.

"They've got a penalty as well, it's just a more cruel version of it because it waits until you don't have insurance and you need it again".