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health care

The Affordable Care Act's tax penalty for people who opt out of health insurance is one of the most loathed parts of the law, so it is no surprise that Republicans are keen to abolish it. But the penalty, also called the individual mandate, plays a vital function: nudging healthy people into the insurance markets, where their premiums help pay for the cost of care for the sick. Republican lawmakers think they have a better alternative.

surgery
Flickr Photo/Army Medicine

Information was released this week about how the Republican health plan would affect people in Washington. UW associate law professor Sallie Sanford spoke with Kim Malcolm about who loses the most.

Bill Radke speaks with Aaron Katz about the most dire predictions for how the Republican health care proposal will affect Washingtonians. Katz is a lecturer in health services at the University of Washington.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is calling the Republican healthcare plan in Congress “a disaster.” Inslee made his comments Wednesday as new projections on the impact to the state were released.

John Krahne received alarming news from his doctor last December. His brain tumors were stable, but his lung tumors had grown noticeably larger.

The doctor recommended a drug called Alecensa, which sells for more than $159,000 a year. Medicare would charge Krahne a $3,200 copay in December, then another $3,200 in January, as a new year of coverage kicked in.

Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.
Flickr Photo/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/cVEJJh

Bill Radke talks to Mary Agnes Carey, senior correspondent for Kaiser Health News, about the American Health Care Act and how it will affect the way people are insured. 

U.S. Senator Patty Murray
Flickr Photo/Senate Democrats (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Bill Radke talks to Senator Patty Murray about the House Republican's American Health Care Act that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. 

A new report finds that the Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion over a decade but would also leave 24 million more Americans uninsured during that same period.

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler
Flickr photo/Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner (CC BY-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/K52qFP

Republicans are “moving so fast, with so little oversight” that the Obamacare replacement could have major structural problems, said Mike Kreidler, Washington state's insurance commissioner.

“We could actually see market collapse, certainly in the state of Washington, but I predict that that could even be across the country,” Kreidler said.


It took a lot to get to this point, but Republicans have released their long-awaited health care bill. (For more on the policy, check out the NPR health team's reporting over at Shots.)

The version that was released is likely to change as the bill goes through committees, but now that it's released, here are four potential challenges President Trump and Republicans face:

1. Health care is complicated

House Republicans unveiled their long-awaited replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act Monday night. They're calling it the American Health Care Act.

After years of waiting, it's finally here.

Amy Radil

Being a Daffodil Princess in Pierce County is not about winning a pageant. Kelty Pierce, 19, is emphatic on that point.

In recent days, several Republican lawmakers have faced crowds of constituents at town hall meetings around the country who are angry that they may be in danger of losing their health coverage.

At a session in Fremont, Shaine Truscott with SEIU-775 helps train "peacekeepers" for protests.
KUOW photo/David Hyde

In a Fremont conference room, about a dozen people pored over a hand-drawn map of the area around Republican Congressman Dave Reichert's office over in Issaquah. 

This is the specter currently haunting President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress: a left-wing Tea Party movement – led by paid protesters – that aims to disrupt their Town Halls and other public events across the country.


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