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American Health Care Act: 5 things to know about the proposed Obamacare overhaul


House Republicans on Monday revealed their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The legislation, called the American Health Care Act, would keep some features of the current health care law but also would strip away some key mandates. 

Here's what you should know about the plan:

>> House Republicans unveil plan to repeal and replace Obamacare

1. What are the main differences between the new plan and the ACA? The GOP proposal would scrap Obamacare's tax penalties on individuals and large employers and "replace income-based subsidies ... with age-based tax credits that may be skimpier for people with low incomes," The Associated Press reported. And the new plan would no longer require insurers to "cover 10 categories of 'essential health benefits'" and instead let states decide, according to the AP.

The American Health Care Act also would block federal funding to Planned Parenthood for a year and would take aim at Medicaid, limiting federal funding. But the new plan would allow states to keep enrolling people under the Medicaid expansion until 2020.

>> Trump says Planned Parenthood can keep federal funding if it halts abortions

2. Which Obamacare provisions remain in the House GOP plan? The proposal would let children stay on their parents' health insurance plans until age 26, maintain some consumer protections and keep a ban on annual or lifetime coverage limits. It also protects people who have pre-existing conditions – with a catch: "They'd have to maintain 'continuous coverage,' and a significant break could lead to a 30 percent penalty on top of their premiums, for up to a year," the AP reported

3. Would the new plan cover as many people as the ACA? Probably not. Although official estimates haven't been released, "aides from both parties and nonpartisan analysts have said they expect those numbers to be lower" than the 20 million covered under Obamacare, the AP reported.

>> Click here to read the bill

4. What's next? According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "a pair of House committees is scheduled to take up the legislation later this week. GOP leaders are looking to advance it by Easter."

>> Read more trending news

5. What are people saying? Many GOP lawmakers withheld their judgment.

“I’m excited that they’re beginning to expose some of the thinking behind this,” Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., said, according to the AJC. “We don’t have all the pieces to it yet, obviously, but the mandates — that’s a no-brainer … I’m going to wait and see the rest of it.”

But other Republicans didn't shy away from criticizing the bill.

Several Democrats slammed the plan. 

“The Republican repeal bill would rip health care away from millions of Americans, ration care for working families and seniors, and put insurance companies back in charge of health care decisions – contrary to everything President Trump has said he would do with his health care plan,” said Democratic Reps. Frank Pallone of New Jersey and Richard Neal of Massachusetts.

Trumpcare doesn't replace the Affordable Care Act - it forces millions of Americans to pay more for less care.

— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 7, 2017


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