By staff writers

July 13, 2017 -- U.S. Senate Republicans have released an updated version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), their effort to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a Politico report.

New features of the bill include the following:

  • Reduced benefit requirements for insurers that would allow them to offer less comprehensive coverage as long as they offer at least one plan that meets ACA standards
  • $45 billion in funding for states to tackle the opioid crisis; the original version of the bill promised $2 billion
  • Elimination of two tax cuts that would benefit the wealthy, with retention of a tax break for health insurance executives
  • Tax credits that would allow people to purchase catastrophic health plans
  • A provision that would allow people to use health savings accounts to pay for premiums

The bill still dramatically cuts Medicaid program support, allows states to waive requirements that could weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions, reduces Medicaid expansion, and scales back eligibility for insurance subsidies, Politico said. It also still eliminates penalties for going without insurance, cost-sharing subsidies for insurers for low-income members, and Planned Parenthood funding, according to the report.

Copyright © 2017

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