‘Universal Access’ Goal of GOP

     The GOP’s replacement for Obamacare will likely eliminate the mandate that everyone must get health insurance or be fined. With 20 million people now covered with ACA plans through federal exchanges, the number of uninsured is at record lows. Although Republicans are certain to repeal the law, they are assuring that there will be a transition period, and no one will lose coverage on January 20, 2017 when President-elect Trump is inaugurated.
     “There’s a lot of scare tactics out there on this,” said Texas Representative Kevin Brady, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.  “We can reassure the American public that the plan they are in right now, the Obamacare plans, will not end on January 20.”
A House aide confirmed that repealing provisions of the law
is a priority, but added there would be a transition period of anywhere from 2 to 4 years to allow time to make replacement coverage available.
     “Our goal here is to make sure that everybody can buy coverage or find coverage if they choose to,” the aide said at a Republican-organized briefing.
     The future of the cost-sharing subsidies that reduce out-of-pocket costs of low-income people has yet to be decided, according to the aide.  In May, a federal district judge ruled the Obama Administration paid out billions to insurers even though Congress had not appropriated money for the payments. That money is key to the success of the the federal exchanges.
     Despite the uncertainty, people continue to sign up for the plans in record numbers. So far, nearly 670,000 have chosen health insurance plans on federal exchanges. Open enrollment ends on January 30, 2017.