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Capito on Obamacare: Keep the Popular Stuff. Ditch the Business Mandate.

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The way Rep. Shelley Moore Capito describes her position on Obamacare, it doesn’t seem complicated.

Keep the good stuff, Get rid of the bad stuff. Add a couple of new tweaks.

The question is, if you do what she wants to do, does the health care system still work?

“I don’t think as its being rolled out, the act in and of itself is working for small businesses and individuals,” Capito said in an interview with West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

But despite several votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Capito says there are aspects she supports. Capito is the GOP candidate for U.S. Senate.

“There are good parts of it - I said that from the beginning,”

Here’s what Capito says she would keep:

  • “We shouldn’t be throwing people off their insurance for pre-existing conditions.”
  • Allow children to remain on their parents’ insurance plan until they turn 26
  • Help seniors close “doughnut hole” gap in Medicare prescription drugs plans (this saved 37,000 West Virginia seniors money last year)
  • Keep the Medicaid expansion -- with some reforms. More than 150,000 West Virginians gained insurance through the the ACA expansion of Medicaid

“I think there’s a way through tax credits and other things to make sure this expansion of Medicaid...encourages folks to keep working and work their way out the the Medicaid system and into a privately-sponsored insurance plan,” Capito said.
Capito would jettison one thing, but it is a big one: Eliminate the mandate for businesses with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance for workers

She said the mandate not only hurts small businesses, but it serves as a disincentive for firms to hire more than 50 employees, and may hurt workers whose hours are cut to part-time to avoid the requirement.

The question is, can you have all the popular things about the Affordable Care Act? A recent study by the Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation argues that you can eliminate the employer mandate, but at a significant cost to the federal government.

Capito says with more cost-containment measures, we could have the popular parts of the law without the employer mandate. She wants:

  • The ability to sell insurance across state lines. This means certain state regulations and rules may be ignored in the interest of uniformity.
  • Caps on medical malpractice liability claims
  • Small business association health plans

“I think that would help us be able to afford things like keeping people on who have a pre-existing condition.”


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