6 Points on What the GOP Platform Holds for Healthcare
The Republican Party adopted its official platform yesterday at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., promising to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and replace it with more consumer-oriented policies.
Here are six main points of the GOP's official platform related to healthcare.
1. Repealing the ACA. "Obamacare…was never really about healthcare," the GOP platform reads. It continues: "From its start, it was about power, the expansion of government control over one-sixth of our economy and resulted in an attack on our Constitution by requiring that U.S. citizens purchase health insurance." The party says it agrees with the four dissenting Supreme Court justices from the June decision and vowed to repeal the law pending a November GOP victory.
2. Transition Medicare to a premium-support model. This would retain the option of the traditional Medicare program or an income-adjusted subsidy to go toward the purchase of a private health plan. This is very similar to the Medicare plan championed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and proposed in his 2013 budget.
3. Increase the age of Medicare eligibility from 65. Although a specific age is not stated in the platform, the GOP party says the age of eligibility must "be made more realistic in terms of today's longer life span."
4. Block grant Medicaid and other payments to states. States would receive block grants that would provide more flexibility for how states "design programs that meet the needs of their low-income citizens." This would give states the power to determine how many people are eligible for Medicaid and the benefits available.
5. Support legislation to cap noneconomic damages in medical malpractice suits. The GOP said it will back legislation to restrict noneconomic damages to relieve "conscientious providers of burdens that are not rightly theirs" and address a source of escalating medical costs.
6. More protection for religious healthcare providers. The official platform states the GOP supports "the ability of all organizations to provide, purchase or enroll in healthcare coverage consistent with their religious, moral or ethical convictions" without penalty.
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