Assessing the Impact of the House GOP Health Bill – Stephanie Armour WSJ Updated May 5, 2017 6:51 a.m. ET


Legislation would force nearly all participants in the nation’s health system to adjust

What the GOP Health Bill’s Passage Means
The House Republican health bill is driven by one big idea: Insurers and markets, rather than government, should be empowered to find ways to provide health insurance to a broad set of people at affordable prices.

The bill that narrowly passed the House on Thursday creates a mechanism to free insurers to sell a wider variety of products—including less-comprehensive plans now barred by law—and to price them in new ways, potentially raising premiums for older and sicker Americans.

The bill ends the requirement that individuals carry insurance or pay a penalty, substituting a price increase for those who choose to go without coverage and buy it later. It gives states more freedom to experiment with their Medicaid programs.

Republicans are betting that these changes will engender competition, draw healthier people into the insurance pool and cut premium prices overall. Democrats, who uniformly opposed the bill Thursday, said many participants and providers in the health system will face higher costs and be worse off than under the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

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