Almost four years after the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, three Senate Republicans have unveiled their own version of a health care reform bill. The measure, introduced Monday by Senators Richard Burr (N.C.), Tom Coburn (Oklahoma) and Orrin Hatch (Utah), contains some similarities to the ACA, but (as one would expect) a number of differences as well.
As with the ACA, low- and middle-income Americans would receive tax subsidies to help them buy insurance. Those who decide not to buy insurance would also face potential financial pain. However, rather than a tax penalty (which is the case under the ACA), the Republican plan would permit insurers to charge them more for pre-existing conditions when they finally do buy coverage. Insurance carriers would not be able to exclude pre-existing conditions or charge more for them for individuals who maintain continuous coverage.