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Poll: How would you replace the Affordable Care Act?

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Republicans have spent years bashing Obamacare. Now, they're about to own it. Credit: Shutterstock/

Before the Affordable Care Act, Americans were solely in charge of maintaining their own health insurance coverage.

The Act was passed into law as a federal mandate, implemented under former President Barack Obama. It required all Americans to purchase “affordable” health insurance. Despite the mandate, individuals and businesses still had leverage in how they purchased their health insurance.

Four options being kicked around to “replace” the Act under President Donald Trump are among the following, which include parts of the existing Act. Congressional Republicans have speculated that they may not be able to entirely replace the Act with another comprehensive health insurance program.

Group insurance programs: Covers a defined group of people, for example members of a society or professional association, or the employees of a particular employer. Grouping individuals together allow insurance companies to give lower rates to companies.

Medicaid block grants: Federal funding based on state per-capita calculation. There is a formula that determines how many dollars are allocated to Medicaid, which in theory would help the state’s most in-need population, and reduce waste, fraud and abuse of the program.

Health savings accounts: Created in 2003 as a tax-exempt tool funded by individuals, and sometimes employers, it is often funded through payroll deductions and paired with eligible health care insurance plans. According to Washington, D.C.-based Employee Benefit Research Institute, Health Savings Accounts cover 20 million to 22 million people and their dependents, and $30.2 billion was held in health savings accounts as of Dec. 31, 2015. Medical history and income are among factors that determine how much should be saved in a health savings account. They are tax deductible from gross income and interest on the accounts accumulates tax-free, which are among their advantages. Money in the accounts roll over from year-to-year and can be invested.

State health insurance exchanges: Allow states to offer competitive health care insurance plans, which maintains a part of the Affordable Care Act.

How would you replace the Affordable Care Act?