House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the plug on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which he endorsed as a repeal and replace measure for the existing Affordable Care Act (ACA), which passed without a single Republican vote in 2010. Republicans in the conservative House Freedom Caucus and moderate Republicans who wanted greater subsidies for state Medicaid programs opposed the AHCA legislation.
Rep. Mark Sanford, a House Freedom Caucus member, had offered an alternative bill called the Obamacare Replacement Act (HR-1072), which included free-market reform principles, such as the ability to purchase medical care insurance across state lines and allowing trade and professional groups such as realtors and plumbers to form group insurance plans.
Sanford stated, “What the ACA has done to participants in the individual healthcare marketplace continues to be a great problem for many Americans, and therefore, I believe this (repeal) bill will come back to the floor in a way that bridges philosophical gaps and stays true to the deliberative process so vital in producing good legislation.”
Conservative groups such as Heritage Action for America, FreedomWorks, Club For Growth and others vigorously opposed the AHCA, citing its failure to lower insurance premiums and deductibles. Heritage research fellow Edmund Haislmaier stated, “Basically, the (AHCA) focused on those who gained subsidized insurance coverage or participated in state Medicaid expansion while failing to correct Obamacare’s misguided insurance regulations that drove up premiums for Americans.”
President Donald Trump has stated that he will turn his attention to legislation lowering the corporate and individual income tax rates and simplifying the income tax code.