Tax Credits, Penalties And Age Rating: Parsing The GOP Health Bill

NPR and Kaiser Health News take on your questions about the GOP bill to replace the Affordable Care Act.

NPR and Kaiser Health News take on your questions about the GOP bill to replace the Affordable Care Act.

For years, Republicans in Congress have promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, claiming that its requirement for nearly everyone to buy insurance or pay a fine is burdensome and costly, and it doesn’t give people enough flexibility to get the coverage they need.

Now that they’re in charge, the bill they’ve released as an alternative (the American Health Care Act) would effectively eliminate the requirement to buy coverage, and it could open up more health care choices, but it’s under fire because it may cause millions of people to lose their coverage. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, up to 24 million more people could be without insurance by 2026 if it passes.

So what are the differences between the ACA and the GOP alternative, and what does it all mean to you and your health care? We put some of your questions from our Twitter chat (#ACAchat) earlier this month to Alison Kodjak, NPR health policy correspondent, and Julie Rovner, chief Washington correspondent for Kaiser Health News.

Many questions came in about the elimination of the requirement to buy insurance, known unflatteringly as “the mandate,” and how the lack of one might impact the health insurance market.

Is the mandate in the GOP bill? It won’t work if people only sign up when they are sick.

Kodjak: The mandate is technically still written into the law, but since no one will enforce it under this new bill, it’s unlikely to have any impact. In fact, the Internal Revenue Service has already issued some guidance that suggests it may not enforce the mandate very actively even now, before this bill becomes law. The result? People who think insurance is too

Article source: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/03/20/520529668/tax-credits-penalties-and-age-rating-parsing-the-gop-health-bill?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=affordablecareact

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