The House is considering a bipartisan plan to roll back the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, a move that would have massive consequences for the economy and the healthcare system.
But the GOP proposal would leave millions of Americans uninsured and leave the health care system as it is, according to Democratic lawmakers.
The proposal is now being pushed by Rep. Mike Doyle, the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
It would require people to buy health insurance that includes a tax subsidy to help offset out-of-pocket costs for them, but not to pay for medical expenses.
That could mean a lot of people don’t get coverage, or even if they do, their costs could skyrocket.
Democrats also want to see what the bill’s impact on the economy would be, as the mandate is one of the major drivers of the cost of insurance.
The plan is the latest in a series of GOP efforts to dismantle the health insurance program, which was designed to help reduce health costs by encouraging more Americans to get coverage.
The bill, which would also undo the ACA’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions, was the subject of a House hearing Thursday morning.
Democratic lawmakers were demanding answers on the GOP’s proposals, saying they have no basis for them and that the plan would be disastrous for the American economy.
The Republican plan, which Democrats have not supported, would require Americans to buy insurance that covers the cost for a full year, meaning many would lose coverage during that time.
But because the mandate would be triggered only after an individual has bought insurance, and the Congressional Budget Office estimates that millions of people could lose their health insurance, the Republican proposal would be devastating for the US economy, the Democratic lawmakers said.
Democrats argue that by creating a “death spiral,” millions of the uninsured would become insured, while millions of those who get coverage would be left without it.
They also argue that the GOP plan would create a death spiral, which is the phenomenon where people who get insurance lose it and are forced to pay a lot more out of pocket.
Democratic Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said the Republican plan would cause an explosion in health care costs for Americans.
Republicans want to repeal the ACA and replace it with a plan that doesn’t work, he said.
Republicans also want Americans to be unable to get insurance, or face penalties for not buying coverage.
“The House will continue to work with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to protect the health of Americans,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California.
Democrats want to make sure the House gets answers from Republicans on the health bill and on how it would affect the economy.
“We are trying to find out exactly what the impact will be on the American people,” Cicillinesaid.
“That’s our first priority.”