Obamacare may be replaced with the "World's Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017,” a new bill introduced in the U.S.House of Representatives that would repeal the Affordable Care Act and favor a privatized system.
The act, introduced by Representative Pete Sessions last week, is similar to one he introduced last year with nearly the same name: "World's Greatest Healthcare Plan Act of 2016." The 2017 version would cut employer and individual mandates while keeping a few features like keeping coverage for pre-existing conditions.
"He wholeheartedly believes in this plan, and he believes that Republicans have the best plan for health care," his spokesperson told USA Today. Sessions, a Tea Partyer, previously made headlines for introducing a bill to declare magic a national treasure and a valuable art form that deserves to be “preserved, understood, and promulgated.”
Several alternatives to the ACA have been introduced, the leading one being Paul Ryan's American Health Care Act, unveiled Monday.
Top U.S. doctors' organization and several hospital groups came out strongly on Wednesday against the plan, backed by President Donald Trump, as Democrats mounted a fierce battle to thwart the bill.
Two lower house committees began debating the plan and considering amendments two days after it was introduced by Republican leaders.
But they face resistance from conservatives in their own party who have condemned the bill as too similar to the law it is meant to supplant. Democrats, meanwhile, have denounced it as a gift to the wealthy that will take insurance away from millions of people.
Doctors and other providers said the bill would probably cause many patients to lose insurance and raise healthcare costs. The American Medical Association urged senior lawmakers in a letter to reconsider drastic changes to Medicaid, the government health-insurance program for the poor.
Obamacare enabled 20 million previously uninsured people to obtain coverage, about half through a Medicaid expansion the new bill would end.