House panels to debate ACA replacement, Dems and conservatives hurl criticism

Both Democrats and conservative Republicans will attempt to reshape the American Health Care Act, the House Republicans' proposed ACA replacement plan, through negotiations beginning Wednesday, according to Reuters.

Two committees in the House — the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee — will hold separate "mark-up" sessions to develop amendments to the proposed legislation.

The AHCA, unveiled March 6, would eliminate many components central to former President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, including the insurer mandate, Medicaid expansion and more than 20 taxes, among other provisions. Under the AHCA, the ACA's income-based subsidies would be replaced with fixed tax credits ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 to incentivize people to purchase health plans from private insurers on the open market, reports Reuters.

Conservatives slammed the proposed law, saying it looked too much like the ACA and dubbing it "ObamaCare Lite" or "ObamaCare 2.0." Democrats' concerns center on the likely decline in the rate of insurance for millions of Americans and the tax cuts that would benefit the rich, according to the report.

Despite opposition from conservatives, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has promised to deliver the 218-vote majority required for the bill to clear the House. However, the AHCA faces hurdles in the Senate, where Republicans only have room for two dissenting votes to pass the legislation.

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