The House Republican health proposal might cut the federal budget deficit by $68 billion over 10 years, but it might not increase the percentage of U.S. residents who have health coverage.
Analysts at the Congressional Budget Office have published those conclusions in an analysis of an “amendment in the nature of a substitute” offered by House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. If adopted as written, the amendment would replace the current text of H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act bill.
The amendment would ban annual and lifetime caps on medical claims, and it would tightly restrict insurers’ efforts to rescind policies that are already in force. It also would expand reinsurance programs, to encourage health insurers to cover people with health problems, and it would increase subsidies for risk pool programs that insure people with health problems. Risk pools that wanted to get federal subsidies would have to eliminate the waiting lists that plague many existing risk pool programs and limit premiums to 150% of the standard rate.
The bill would permit small businesses to avoid state insurance mandates by buying coverage through association health plans, and it would permit an individual who lives in one state to buy health coverage from an insurer based and regulated in another state.
A medical malpractice provision would cap noneconomic and punitive damages and change the way liability is allocated.