President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order for a $8.6 billion health care bill that would transform the nation’s health care system into one that focuses on patient care, saving billions of dollars annually and making health care better for people.
The new plan, called the American Health Care Act, will help expand coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, create new tax credits for people making up to $100,000 and help people with high deductibles and co-pays.
The American Health and Human Services Department said it has estimated that it would provide about $7.6 trillion in tax cuts over the next decade.
The plan also calls for extending federal health insurance subsidies to some people who do not have insurance, which could bring down premiums and improve care.
The legislation includes $1 trillion in savings on Medicare, $800 billion in savings from Medicaid expansion and $500 billion from a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s tax on medical devices.
The president also signed a $100 billion tax credit for those making less than $200,000 per year, $600 billion for those earning less than 500 percent of the federal poverty level and $800 million for people who make between 500 and $200 million per year.
Trump signed the legislation without any public hearings.
The bill was introduced by Sens.
Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray, two Democrats who are leading the fight for a major overhaul of the health care program.
The two senators were the only Republicans in the Senate to vote against the plan.
It was initially proposed in January and Trump said he was considering it at the time.
The Congressional Budget Office said that the AHCA would reduce the deficit by $2 trillion over a decade and increase the number of Americans without health insurance by 23 million.
The Senate approved the bill on Wednesday by a vote of 51-49.
Trump said Thursday that the plan is a “great first step” in moving the nation toward a single-payer system.
The AHCA does not eliminate Obamacare, but rather replaces it with the American Medical Assurance Act, which would allow states to set their own health care policies.
It would also replace the current tax on hospitalizations, deductibles, co-payments and other charges with a $2,000 tax credit to help people afford coverage.
Democrats are still trying to make clear that they do not support the legislation.
The House of Representatives passed its own version of the AHC on Tuesday and the Senate passed it on Wednesday.
It now goes to the White House.
Trump has repeatedly said he wants to keep Obamacare but has said that he would be willing to negotiate on the individual mandate, which imposes a 10 percent tax on some people earning up to 200 percent of poverty.
That bill, along with other Republican plans, was a major obstacle in getting enough votes to pass in the House and Senate.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump’s signing.
Read more at thewashingtonpost.com.