PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Congressman Mike Doyle, a Democrat, says there’s a reason why House Republicans are striking the word “affordable” from the title of their health care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.”
“They’ve taken affordable out of the bill,” says Doyle. “If you’re a working family in my district, it’s going to be tougher to be able to purchase insurance.”
Not so, says Congressman Tim Murphy, a Republican.
“Our purpose is to drive down costs as a carrot to lure people to buy affordable health insurance themselves instead of a stick before,” notes Murphy.
Both Murphy and Doyle are senior members of the House Commerce Committee that writes health care laws.
“People will be able to buy insurance and look across the country for insurance policies that fit right for them,” says Murphy.
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The House GOP plan repeals the subsidized low-cost Obamacare marketplace insurance that insures over 13 million Americans, replacing it with tax credits for eligible people to buy insurance.
“You may not have the ability to front the premium dollars before you get your money back after you file your tax returns,” says Doyle. “This again is just so regressive.”
Under the Republican plan, Americans will no longer be required to have health insurance.
“People will no longer have to buy insurance that they don’t need. For example, maternity insurance if you are no longer maternity age,” notes Murphy.
But critics say that is a step backwards.
“We’re going back to the days where the primary care physician is the emergency room, and not a primary care doctor,” says Doyle.
And while Democrats took a year and 75 hearings to pass Obamacare, Doyle says Republicans are ignoring regular order.
“Then [they] try to bring this bill to the Floor in the next couple weeks for a vote before we even know what it costs or what its impacts are,” notes Doyle.
“Before final passage, we will have that and know where this is going,” predicts Murphy.
If the bill is passed, Murphy tells the “KDKA Morning News” it won’t affect people immediately.
“Nothing is going to happen for 2017. Things will go into effect next year. Insurance companies already have their rates set in for this year and actually for next year, too. What is going to happen in the longer run at the end of 2018, you start to choose your plan so let’s not panic, let’s look at this,” says Murphy.
Murphy calls the Afforable Health Care act “a disaster” and trying to overhaul Obamacare won’t work.
“It’s like trying to keep a car that’s a wreck. You can’t do that. You have to go with something else so there is going to be a lot of open discussion here and recognize that the bill is out there for people to see. There’s nothing hidden,” says Murphy.