Republican lawmakers in the US Senate have unveiled long-awaited legislation that will revoke and replace former President Barack Obama’s signature health insurance program, known as Obamacare.
The plan under the title of American Health Care Act was released on Monday and is allegedly based on the framework that President Donald Trump laid out in his first congressional address last week.
"After years of Obamacare's broken promises, House Republicans today took an important step," said Greg Walden, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, in a statement.
"Simply put, we have a better way to deliver solutions that put patients -- not bureaucrats -- first, and we are moving forward united in our efforts to rescue the American people from the mess Obamacare has created," he added.
Republicans said the plan would eliminate unpopular fines on people with no health insurance and replace income-based premium subsidies and taxes in the law with age-based ones.
The 123-page legislation is said to preserve two popular elements of Obamacare, prohibiting health insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, and allowing dependents to remain on their parents' plans until age 26. The new bill now requires passage by the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Businessman-turned-politician Trump, within hours of taking the oath of office, fulfilled one of his most impassioned promises he had made during his presidential campaign and signed an executive order to “ease the burden of Obamacare," which covers some 20 million Americans.
Republicans had already criticized Obamacare as an excessive government intrusion into the healthcare market and contended that it was harming economic growth by burdening businesses.