Seeking Obamacare Alternative, Republicans Eye Tax Credits

If the U.S. Supreme Court blows up the tax subsidies at the heart of Obamacare in June, Republicans hope to deliver on their promise to offer an alternative healthcare plan.
But key parts of it may resemble the one President Barack Obama delivered five years ago in the Affordable Care Act, partly reflecting Republican concerns that they could pay a political price if insurance subsidies are yanked from millions of Americans later this year.

Two front-running Republican options at an early stage in Congress include a refundable tax credit that experts say is virtually the same thing as the Obamacare tax subsidy being challenged before the Supreme Court. Republicans deny that their ideas are tantamount to “Obamacare Lite” but acknowledge they will need bipartisan support for their plans to stand any chance of avoiding an Obama veto.

“It’s not going to be like Obamacare, in my opinion,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, whose plan includes a refundable tax credit for low-and middle-income Americans.

“It’s not a literal subsidy, it’s a recognition that they should have this credit.”