WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders were poised Thursday to unveil a fresh proposal to repeal and replace the health care law, revising their bill to help hold down insurance costs for consumers while keeping a pair of taxes on high-income people that they had planned to eliminate.
With the revised bill, the majority leader, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is trying to keep alive his party’s seven-year quest to dismantle the health law that is a pillar of former President Barack Obama’s legacy.
Republicans said the revised bill would provide roughly $70 billion in additional funds that states could use to help reduce premiums, hold down out-of-pocket costs and otherwise make health care more affordable. The bill already included more than $100 billion for such purposes.
The new bill, like earlier versions, would convert Medicaid from an open-ended entitlement to a system of fixed payments to states. But in the event of a public health emergency, state Medicaid spending in a particular part of a state would not be counted toward the spending limits, known as per capita caps.
In a departure from current law, the bill would allow insurers, under certain conditions, to offer health plans that did not comply with standards in the Affordable Care Act. Under that law, insurers sell regulated health plans through a public insurance exchange in each state.
A summary of McConnell’s bill, circulating on Capitol Hill, describes his proposal this way: If an insurer offered “sufficient minimum coverage” on the exchange that remains subject to federal mandates in the Affordable Care Act, it could also offer…
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