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Why Repealing Obamacare Is Harder Than It Sounds: QuickTake Q&A

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Obamacare Repeal Gets Underway in Senate

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President Donald Trump and the Republicans who control Congress had a simple plan for their first days in office: move quickly to “repeal and replace” Barack Obama’s health-care reform program, the Affordable Care Act or ACA. That’s proven anything but simple. After six weeks of confusion, House Republicans in March introduced the American Health Care Act. While Trump called it "wonderful," it was quickly denounced by Democrats as a plan to cut coverage for low-income Americans to pay for tax cuts for the rich, and by some conservatives as "Obamacare Lite." The provisions of the House bill would affect many more people than the 20 million who gained coverage under Obamacare. No wonder Trump recently said, “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.”

Their bill would phase out key parts of Obamacare over several years, including the taxes that had paid for expanded coverage. It would end the requirement that all individuals buy coverage; instead, it would let insurers charge higher premiums to people who let their coverage lapse and are seeking a new policy. It would replace the income-based tax credits that help people in the individual policy market pay for insurance with tax credits based on age. The ACA’s expansion of Medicaid would be gradually reversed.