House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that Republicans will introduce a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare when lawmakers return from next week's recess.
He said Republicans are waiting to release the legislation until the cost of the bill is estimated by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation.
"It has become increasingly clear that this law is collapsing," the Wisconsin Republican told reporters at his weekly news conference. He cited Tuesday's announcement by Humana to pull out of Obamacare's health exchanges as another sign that the current system is failing.
"It will keep getting worse unless we act," Ryan said.
Republicans leaders released a 19-page outline to the rank-and-file that outlines their plans for replacement.
Many of the most popular aspects of the ACA are still in the outline. Young people will be allowed to stay on their parent's health insurance until they're 26 and patients can't be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
The outline is thin on specifics.
There's no mention in the 19 pages how republican leaders plan to pay for the replacement. It's also not clear how many people may lose or gain health insurance.
Consumers will be able to shop for health insurance across state lines. And the controversial mandate, which forces people to buy health insurance, will be gone.
Republicans plan to expand health savings accounts and rely heavily on tax credits.
Ryan said the replacement bill would give consumers the power to choose their own health care plans in a more competitive marketplace. Ryan indicated that tax credits for consumers are likely to replace the government subsidies currently provided to about 85% of Americans who purchase their health coverage from the Obamacare exchanges.
"A tax credit is a fixed amount (for consumers) to go buy the health plan of their choosing," Ryan said. "What we're proposing is a patient-centered system where patients get to decide what to do."
RELATED | Read the GOP's Obamacare Repeal and Replace Policy Brief below:
The speaker said Republicans "would love to have support from the other side," referring to Democrats. But he said it's clear Democrats don't want to support the GOP plan.
Rep. Hank Johnson (D- Lithonia) said "the Republican plan will result in millions of Americans losing access to healthcare. Tax credits and health savings accounts are no replacement for the exchange subsidies that millions of Americans depend on to make health insurance affordable."
Johnson also told 11Alive he fears the republican plan will result in millions of Americans losing their health insurance.
Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson on the other hand is optimistic about the plan.
"Senator Isakson is encouraged by the progress that is being made toward repealing and replacing the deeply flawed Affordable Care Act," his staff released in a statement.
"Senator Isakson wants to see a full repeal with a sustainable replacement in which oversight is largely returned to the states."
Republicans made the repeal and replacement of Obamacare a major promise of their election campaigns last year. Although GOP leaders can pass legislation without Democratic support in the House, they will need help from Democrats to pass a replacement plan in the Senate.
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