Senate Republicans released their latest Obamacare repeal bill late Thursday just hours before a planned vote on the proposal.
The measure comes after separate pushes to immediately replace the Affordable Care Act or repeal it with a two-year transition period failed amid GOP divisions. Several Republican senators slammed the plan and appeared to not even want it to become law.
Here are the provisions in the so-called skinny repeal bill, which the GOP titled the Health Care Freedom Act:
- It would repeal the individual mandate, which is the requirement that most Americans buy insurance or pay a penalty. The provision was intended to help control costs by encouraging younger, healthier people to enter the market. Republicans have said it forced people to buy plans they did not want.
- The bill would roll back the employer mandate, a similar provision that says large employers have to provide insurance for their workers.
- The plan would expand a program that allows states to waive certain provisions under Obamacare.
- It would suspend the medical device tax.
- The proposal would increase contribution limits for tax-free health savings accounts.
- It would defund women's health provider Planned Parenthood for one year.
The bill would lead to an estimated 16 million more Americans uninsured by 2026, according to a late Thursday report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Premiums in the nongroup market would increase "by roughly 20 percent relative to current law in all years between 2018 and 2026," the CBO estimated.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell contended Thursday that the plan "restores freedom to Americans that Obamacare took away."
It is unclear now whether the GOP, which holds 52 seats in the Senate, can reach the 50 votes needed to approve the bill. At least three GOP senators who heavily criticized the proposal earlier have said they will back it under the condition that a conference committee between the Senate and House hashes out a better alternative.