WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Oregon Congressman Greg Walden helped craft the new healthcare plan that Republicans hope will replace Obamacare. He outlined the plan in a Tuesday press conference.
Walden (R-OR) calls the Affordable Care Act "a wreck" and says a growing number of insurance companies are pulling out. He wants the system to encourage young people to buy insurance. "Facts are: we’ve arrived at the scene of a pretty big wreck and we’re trying to clean up the mess and if we don’t intercede now, fewer people will have access to insurance; period." He adds, "We need to reform those markets so we can give options that are affordable and available to more people to actually come on to insurance coverage." The plan completely changes the way Medicaid is funded. States with a Medicaid extension, like Oregon, will be able to keep it - for now. "You’ve got to have a transition period, here, that works for the people that are on Medicaid."
The plan continues coverage for pre-existing conditions, as long as insurance doesn't lapse. And, children can be covered under their parents' policy through age 26. It also defunds Planned Parenthood, eliminates the requirement to buy health insurance and offers a monthly tax credit to help those without employer provided coverage.
Walden heads the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which played a key role in developing the proposal. Walden says he knows it will be revised, "Let’s have a thoughtful legislative discussion. There’s a process before each of our committees; There’ll be a process in the budget committee; there’s a process in the rules committee, then it’ll come to the floor."
Democrats argue it will result in higher costs for people buying individual policies.