Although a number of previous attempts have failed, Republicans in both the House of Representatives and the Senate are continuing efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.
While Senators are still debating a bipartisan healthcare bill, a new idea, backed by two prominent Republicans, has been proposed in the House.
Two new proposals are gaining traction and at least one could face a vote sometime soon.
The proposal outlined by Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Republican Representative Kevin Brady, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, includes provisions to suspend requirements for individuals and employers to buy health coverage under former President Barack Obama’s healthcare law.
The recommendations appear to address many of the Trump administration’s objections to a short-term fix drafted by senators Lamar Alexander, a Republican, and Patty Murray, a Democrat.
The two bills similarly restore the subsidies Trump nixed just weeks ago:
Like the bipartisan proposal, the Hatch-Brady fix would reinstate billions of dollars in subsidy payments to insurers that Trump jettisoned earlier this month. Insurers say they had to raise monthly premium rates by 20 percent on average for 2018 to account for the lost subsidies, but could reduce consumers costs if they are restored.
Unlike its bipartisan counterpart, the Hatch-Brady bill critically eliminates the individual mandate:
But the Hatch-Brady legislation would also repeal the individual mandate, or requirement that everyone purchase health insurance or else pay a fine, from 2017 to 2021. It would retroactively repeal the employer mandate from 2015 to 2017 and introduce restrictions on abortion that have yet to be detailed.
Health industry experts and Democrats say the individual and employer mandates are critical to making Obamacare work.
Murray called on the Senate to move forward with the deal she has worked on with Alexander “and move away from partisan dysfunction on healthcare,” which she said could take health coverage away from millions of people.
The Alexander-Murray bill is expected to have the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate, but it is not clear whether it could find enough support in the House.