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Health Team

Key differences mark GOP's health care replacement

Posted March 15

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— The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office dealt a blow to the new GOP healthcare plan to replace the Affordable Care Act shortly after it was released, saying 24 million Americans will lose coverage by the year 2026.

Some parts of the new American Health Care Act mirror laws in the Affordable Care Act, which is also called "Obamacare."

Here's what remains the same:

–The healthcare marketplace: The place where people purchase their insurance—healthcare.gov—will stay.

–Preexisting conditions protections: Patients can't be denied coverage for having a pre-existing condition.

–Kids can stay on their parents insurance until they are 26 years old.

Despite the similarities, though, there are a number of fundamental differences under the new plan..

Here's what will change:

–Individual mandate penalty gone: The penalty on people who don't buy insurance is gone. Instead, there is a one-time 30 percent surcharge, or extra premium, you'll have to pay for a lapse in coverage.

–Medicaid no longer a budgetary entitlement: Under the Affordable Care Act, there is no limit on federal spending on Medicaid. The GOP's plan would put a per-person cap on what the federal government would give states like North Carolina.

The CBO projects the Republican's plan will be paid for over the next 10 years by these cuts to Medicaid, which would be worth $880 billion. This will hurt states that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare the most. States will ultimately have to pay what the government does not.

–Tax credits based on age, not income: If you're uninsured under Obamacare, you can get a subsidy based on your income, but the GOP plan's subsidy is a tax credit determined by your age instead. So, it doesn't matter if you make $15,000 or $40,000, you would get the same help buying health insurance.

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