WASHINGTON, March 6 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Republican Party (GOP) on Monday unveiled a healthcare bill that it says will replace the Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act (ACA), taking a step further in trashing what former President Barack Obama hoped would be his biggest legacy.
The bill, named the American Healthcare Act, was introduced by the House Committees of Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce. It will "deliver relief from Obamacare's taxes and mandates and lay the groundwork for a 21st century health care system," the GOP said on its website.
The proposed bill seeks to axe penalties levied on individuals and employers who don't purchase health plans, but instead encourages people to stay insured by allowing insurers to place a 30-percent surcharge on the premiums of those who are not continuously covered by health plans.
But the GOP has opted to keep two of the most popular features of the ACA, including letting young adults aged 26 or younger to stay on their parents' healthcare package and forbidding insurers to deny coverage to those with preexisting conditions.
The ACA has been heatedly debated in the United States since its ratification in 2010. The Obama administration said the ACA expanded healthcare coverage to millions more of citizens, while some grumble that their healthcare premiums have surged after the ACA was put in place.
U.S. President Donald Trump, one of whose major campaign promises was to "repeal and replace" Obamacare, has vowed to make abolishing the ACA one of the top priorities of his administration, a position that has won the support of the GOP-controlled Congress.