The GOP also proposes to ensure access for patients with pre-existing conditions by expanding state high-risk pools and reinsurance programs and reducing the cost of coverage, a provision the White House immediately criticized. What it actually would do is repeal the new law's ban on discriminating against uninsured Americans, “including children, who have a pre-existing condition,” wrote Stephanie Cutter, assistant to the president for special projects, in the White House blog.
In turn, the GOP proposal “will raise taxes by more than $40 billion on up to 4 million small businesses that provide health benefits to their employees…and result in premium increases by eliminating the billions of dollars in cost savings measures,” Ron Pollack, executive director of advocacy group Families USA, said in a written statement.
The proposal would also undo the new ACA provisions that went into effect on Thursday, which enables young adults to get coverage on their parent's plans, and expands access to preventive care, Pollack said.
Separately, Vice President Joe Biden and HHS announced today that drug companies will give 50% discounts on covered brand-name prescription drugs for beneficiaries in the Medicare Part D doughnut hole, starting in 2011.