The Leaked Republican Plan to Replace Obamacare is Essentially “the Better Way” Plan

Politico obtained a leaked draft of a Republican replacement plan for Obamacare, it is essentially the “Better Way” plan with a few tweaks.

That makes sense as it appears to be a House Bill by the Energy and Commerce Committee. In other words, this appears to be Ryan’s plan… which is not surprising if you’ve been following the story of Trump passing off healthcare reform to Ryan.

TIP: Since this was written we have done a full review of each provision, see the review page of the leak here.

  • So first off, this is the first actual legislation anyone has seen since Trump’s election, but it is not a final bill submitted officially. It is a leaked document.
  • Secondly, it is full of amendments which are mind-numbing to parse.
  • Thirdly, it is photocopied a little lopsided making going through it take longer (still grateful, but… just sayin’).

With the above in mind, it at first long glance appears to be “a mixed bag”.

We were all worried the plan would look more like Price’s and less like Ryan’s, but this looks like Ryan’s! So that is good.

However, we were all hoping that we would see a magic public option, or no exclusion for preexistings, or very specific wording on keeping state funding for Medicaid or for at least keeping 1332 waivers as is, or a few other vital things that the average person isn’t going to catch. I do not see any of that.

This is simply the “Better Way” plan with a few improvements and a few glaring holes (at a long first glance). Although I need more time on this before I can comment with certainty, the wording seems to suggest that things aren’t as rosey as Sarah Kliff (from VOX) suggests (see The leaked Republican plan to replace Obamacare, explained; VOX rocks, but like the elusive wording on the high risk pool, there are some glaring red flags here).

The “notably less harsh penalty than the one that Price suggested in his 2015 Empowering Patients First Act” is good. Yes. So are “more generous tax credits than we thought, but still based on age”. They are, better than not at least.

However, at a skim I feel like I’m catching little things that could be big. We’ll be working on decrypting this bill over the course of the week. For now, I just wanted to call attention to it.

Again, mixed bag on paper, but don’t want to speak more until we have done a line-by-line.

Author: Thomas DeMichele

Thomas DeMichele is the head writer and founder of,, and other websites. He has been in the health insurance and healthcare information field since 2012. is a...

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