Republicans’ long-awaited plan to replace former US President Barack Obama’s health law is facing opposition from members of their own party. House committees plan to begin voting on the legislation – which would repeal penalties for those who do not buy health insurance – on Wednesday. But congressional Republicans have been saying the plan goes too far or does not go far enough. Senator Rand Paul said the bill will be “dead on arrival” at the Senate. He and other conservative critics have dismissed it as “Obamacare 2.0” or “Obamacare Lite”. The Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, helped 20 million previously uninsured Americans get health insurance.
However, increases in insurance premiums – which were also a problem before the health law – have irked many Americans The proposal unveiled on Monday would preserve some popular elements of the existing law:
•    allowing young people to remain on their parents’ insurance plans until the age of 26
•    ban on insurers denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions
But the plan is expected to cover fewer people than those who gained insurance under the Affordable Care Act. We will not know the exact numbers – or the cost – for about another week.
While penalties for those who don’t buy health insurance would be scrapped, those who let their coverage lapse could see their insurance premiums raised by 30%.
The Republican legislation would limit future federal funding for Medicaid, which covers low-income people.
Nearly half of the Americans who gained healthcare coverage under Obamacare received it through the expansion of Medicaid, which would end in 2020 under the new plan.
The proposal would also eliminate subsidies for those with modest incomes, replacing them with age-based tax credits to mitigate the cost of premiums.
It also repeals the mandate that larger employers must offer insurance to their employees.
Republican leaders are trying to win over the party to what President Donald Trump described as “our wonderful new healthcare bill”.
But four Republican senators have already said the plan does not adequately protect low-income people who received Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Three other, conservative Republican senators including Senator Paul have suggested the plan does not go far enough in abolishing Obamacare.
Members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of about 30 hardliners, have also sounded sceptical.
House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz has been savaged on social media for saying Americans need to choose between a new smartphone and medical insurance.
He told CNN: “And so maybe, rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to spend hundreds of dollars on, maybe they should invest in their own healthcare.”

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