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Scoring the GOP Health-Care Plan

by Yuval Levin

The House may need to move slower than it would like

The American Health Care Act, the House Republicans’ proposal for repealing and replacing large parts of Obamacare, has had a rough start in life. It was introduced by House leaders on March 6 to a chorus of groans from all ends of the party. Freedom Caucus members and some other conservatives opposed its refundable tax credit and thought its Medicaid reforms took too long to get going. Many of the conservatives most engaged in the details of health care in recent years, meanwhile, thought its credit was not well designed to allow most people to obtain at least catastrophic coverage, and they worried about some peculiar features that seemed counterproductive. The hope of Republican leaders to rush the bill through the House and then the Senate in record time seemed implausible.

And then on March 13, the Congressional Budget Office made things even worse. The agency’s modelers projected that, while the bill would significantly reduce the deficit and ultimately reduce premium costs in the individual market, it would leave about 24 million more people without insurance in ten years than would have been the case under Obamacare.

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