END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (42 states)

Time: D H M S

Imagine That: Senate making Trumpcare look an awful lot more like Obamacare.

I pretty much stole that headline from Politico, but how else was I supposed to word it?

Senate Republicans are working on a potential breakthrough that could help push through an Obamacare repeal bill – by making insurance subsidies look a lot like Obamacare.

There’s growing support for the idea of pegging the tax credits in the House repeal bill to income and making aid more generous for poorer people. But those moves — while they may win consensus among Senate moderates — are unlikely to sit well with House conservatives.

The financial assistance in the House bill “is just not robust enough to make sure that low-income individuals can actually afford a [health] plan,” said Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.). “If you bring those income limits down for people who really need the help, you can give them more help.”

Though the senators are intensely divided on other issues in the repeal package, the tax subsidies are emerging as one of the few areas of agreement within the Senate GOP as they start to write their own Obamacare repeal bill. The goal is to provide more assistance to very low-income Americans than the House did, according to several Republican lawmakers and congressional aides.

...The House bill increased tax credits by age. Senators instead want to embrace Obamacare’s model of basing premium assistance on income. Fearing that the House plan punishes people just below Medicare eligibility, they would also boost support for people aged 50 to 64 who stand to see the largest price increases under Obamacare repeal.

...An early draft of the proposal would phase out the tax credits — just like Obamacare and the House plan, these are all advanced refundable tax credits — at 621 percent of the federal poverty level.

Wait a minute...that sounds awfully famililar...

Assuming the Senate version of the bill also keeps the ACA's Medicaid expansion and the $840 billion needed to fund it as well, we're starting to get closer to simply modifying the ACA itself.