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By Robert Donachie
President Donald Trump voiced approval Tuesday for the Republican plan to use tax credits to help people purchase health insurance in his address to Congress.
The president’s nod to the GOP tax-credit proposal Tuesday marks the first time he publicly backed a key component of the Republican proposals to “repeal and replace,” Obamacare.
“We should help Americans purchase their own coverage, through the use of tax credits and expanded Health Savings Accounts,” Trump said before the joint session of Congress. “But it must be the plan they want, not the plan forced on them by our government.”
A draft leaked of the main Republican repeal plan includes age-based tax credits for Americans who do not get health insurance through their employer. While some Republicans are expressing concerns regarding the use of tax credits in the proposal, the majority of Republican lawmakers support the measure.
With control of both Congress and the White House, Republicans are in a unique position to make good on their promise to repeal former President Barack Obama’s landmark health care legislation. In fact, health care reform is one of main rallying cries for Republicans, despite having disagreements about the best way to move forward with repeal. (RELATED: Obama’s Health Care Law Likely To Stay)
Republicans lawmakers are finding little to no consensus on the best way to go about a repeal effort At the same time, the majority is simultaneously experiencing a great deal of pressure from their constituents to both push forward with Obamacare repeal, and to stop the repeal effort entirely — further compounding the problem.
In addition to his comments on tax credits, the president also said that consumers should be able to purchase insurance across state lines, a proposition favored by major health insurance companies, since it increases their pool of funds to pay out against claims.
The president did not address how he would deal with Obama’s Medicaid expansion, which is another key problem facing Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. Trump also doubled-down on his promise to ensure that those with pre-existing conditions are not denied health coverage.
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