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Republicans unveil new plan to repeal Obamacare

CNBC logo CNBC 4/20/2017 Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

Republican lawmakers have a new plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, Politico reported Thursday.

The political news site obtained a document about the health care bill proposal, which it says represents the most recent summary of negotiations between moderate GOP and House Freedom Caucus members.

Here is the latest version, according to Politico:

MacArthur Amendment to the American Health Care Act

The MacArthur Amendment would reinstate essential health benefits as the federal standard and maintain the following provisions of the AHCA:

o Prohibition on denying coverage due to preexisting medical conditions
o Prohibition on discrimination based on gender
o Guaranteed issue of coverage to all applicants
o Guaranteed renewability of coverage
o Coverage of dependents on parents' plan up to age 26
o Community Rating Rules, except for limited waivers

Limited Waiver Option

The amendment would create an option for states to obtain Limited Waivers from certain federal standards, in the interest of lowering premium costs and expanding the number of insured persons. States could seek Limited Waivers for:

  • Essential health benefits
  • Community rating rules, except for the following categories, which are not waivable:
  • Gender
  • Age, except for reductions of the 5:1 age ratio previously established
  • Health status, unless the state has established a high-risk pool or is participating in a federal high-risk pool

Limited Waiver Requirements

States must attest that the purpose of their requested waiver is to reduce premium costs, increase the number of persons with health care coverage, or advance another benefit to the public interest in the state, including the guarantee of coverage for persons with pre-existing medical conditions. The Secretary shall approve applications within 90 days of determining that an application is complete.

Politico said, citing a senior conservative aide, GOP lawmakers are specifically pleased with "instituting high-risk pools to deal with pre-existing conditions."

CNBC has reached out to the office of House Speaker Paul Ryan about the document.

Earlier this month, U.S. Representative Mark Meadows said the majority of House Freedom Caucus members will support the new bill if changes offered by the White House are included in the legislation, including health insurance coverage waivers related to community rating protections.

In March, House Republicans pulled their first attempt at a repeal and replacement of Obamacare, due in large part to opposition from a handful of conservative and moderate republicans.

Read the full report from Politico here.


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