How Republicans could replace ObamaCare

For those who don’t already have insurance, the proposal envisions a one-time open-enrollment period, in which the currently uninsured can sign up regardless of health status. Everyone, even the sick uninsured, would have an opportunity to buy in. But unlike Obamacare, no one would be required to do so.

The plan would set up a system of targeted tax credits to help those who wanted coverage afford it. The credits would be available to individuals and families up earning up to 300 percent of the poverty line, and would increase with age, so that older individuals with more expensive coverage would be given more assistance.

Those credits would be advanceable and refundable, and thus would cost money to offer. The proposal doesn’t offer a dollar figure for how much the credits would cost, but it does suggest a way to pay for them: capping the tax exclusion for employer provided care at 65 percent of an average plan’s cost. None of the taxes that Obamacare relies on to pay for its coverage expansion would remain.

The combined effect of its changes, the plan’s authors say, would be revenue neutral and competitive with Obamacare in terms of coverage. No independent entity has scored the plan, however, and a reasonable assumption is that in the long run, the plan would leave more people uninsured than Obamacare.