GOP senators offer plan that would repeal Affordable Care Act

Jan. 27, 2014 at 5:58 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Republican lawmakers unveiled a plan Monday that would repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a program of their own.

The bill, backed by Sens. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, would remove "government-centered" regulations and mandates, the lawmakers said Monday.

"The American people have found out what is in Obamacare: broken promises in the form of increased healthcare costs, costly mandates and government bureaucracy. They don't like it and don't want to keep it," Burr said in a statement.

"We can lower costs and expand access to quality coverage and care by empowering individuals and their families to make their own healthcare decisions, rather than empowering the government to make those decisions for them."

Roll Call said the Republican proposal would allow insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions.

"So long as an individual, or family in the case of a family policy, has stayed continuously covered, they should not be forced to pay a higher premium solely because of a costly health condition when switching plans," a summary of the bill said.

The bill would remove the individual mandate in President Obama's healthcare overhaul that requires all Americans to buy insurance.

"This new consumer protection helps incentivize responsible behaviors by encouraging consumers to keep their health," the summary said.

The bill, which would return oversight of health insurance to states, would limit the premiums of older people to no more than five times that of younger people, Roll Call said. The measure, however, would continue the Affordable Care Act's provision that allows dependents to stay on their parents' insurance plan until age 26.

"Forcing too many Americans out of the insurance they have, away from the doctor they trust and, for some, out of the job they need, Obamacare is a disaster. With our plan, we've shown once again that by empowering Americans -- not Washington -- with the right tools and information, they will make the best informed healthcare decisions for themselves," Hatch said in a statement.

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