WASHINGTON - Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore.,chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released legislation Monday as part of House Republicans’ effort to repeal and replace Obamacare through a budget process known as reconciliation.
The legislation, part of House Republicans’ American Health Care Act, creates a new and innovative Patient and State Stability Fund to help low-income Americans afford health care and to repair the damage done to state insurance markets by Obamacare, Walden's office said in a news release.
Additionally, the legislation lays out a plan that Walden said would responsibly unwind Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion while prioritizing the program’s funds to the most vulnerable through a per capita allotment.
“At town halls and meetings I’ve held throughout my district, Oregonians have asked for the same things when it comes to their care: greater choice, lower cost, and flexibility to choose the plan that best suits their needs. Our plan provides Oregonians with just that. It maintains important protections for consumers -- including for those with pre-existing conditions and for young adults on their parents’ plans -- and it doesn’t pull the rug out from anyone currently on Medicaid,” said Walden.
"I’m proud that the plan we’ve put forth today reflects eight years’ worth of conversations with families, patients, and doctors. Simply put, we have a Better Way to deliver solutions that put patients -- not bureaucrats -- first, and we are moving forward united in our efforts to rescue the American people from the mess Obamacare has created. Today is the first step in helping families across this country obtain truly affordable health care, and we’re eager to get this rescue mission started.”
The Energy and Commerce Committee has scheduled a markup of this legislation on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. EST.
CLICK HERE to read the entire bill, which includes legislative recommendations from the Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees.
CLICK HERE to read a section-by-section of the Energy and Commerce legislation.
On January 13, the House passed a budget resolution to begin turning that vision into legislation through reconciliation -- a process that allows legislation to be passed with a simple majority in the Senate and quickly signed into law.
The budget resolution outlined specific instructions for the Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees -- the primary Committees with jurisdiction over health care -- to draft legislative recommendations that the Budget Committee could compile into one reconciliation package.
When combined with the legislation released by Ways and Means, the legislation Energy and Commerce released Monday meets those instructions.
Specifically, the Energy and Commerce legislation:
Creates a Patient and State Stability Fund -- this new and innovative fund give states broad flexibility to design programs that best serve their unique populations. They can also use funds to increase access to preventative services.
Responsibly unwinds Obamacare's Medicaid expansion -- By freezing new enrollment after 2 years and grandfathering in current enrollees, we protect patients and offer a stable transition.
Strengthens Medicaid -- Using a per capita allotment, our legislation ensures a fair funding formula for states while creating a viable financial future for the program.
Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued a statement after House Republicans unveiled their legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act:
“This bill sends a loud and clear message: tax cuts for special interests and the wealthy matter more than your health care. The American people will pay more and get less or no coverage at all – it ends Medicaid as we know it, it decimates state and family budgets while putting America’s most vulnerable at risk, it puts the government between women and their doctors, and it steals money from Medicare to give a massive tax break to the wealthy,” Wyden said.
“Congressional Republicans are leading a desperate forced march to pass a dangerous bill written in secret which few members of Congress have seen, let alone read. This unprecedented process is being used to jam the bill through Congress – without any numbers on cost or consequences from the Congressional Budget Office – before the American people can learn what they’re about to lose. I will fight this effort every step of the way. America cannot afford to go back to the days when health care was reserved for the healthy and the wealthy.”