Ahead of crucial House vote, fact checking the GOP's Obamacare replacement

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks to reporters after President Donald Trump spoke to House Republicans about the GOP plan to replace Obamacare two days before the House vote. (Getty Images)
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks to reporters after President Donald Trump spoke to House Republicans about the GOP plan to replace Obamacare two days before the House vote. (Getty Images)
U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., says the GOP plan would unfairly benefit health care executives. (AP)
U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., says the GOP plan would unfairly benefit health care executives. (AP)

A vote expected on March 23, 2017 in the U.S. House of Representatives would repeal major parts of Obamacare and is seen as a crucial test of the leadership of Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan, the House speaker.

Ryan has championed what some are calling "Trumpcare," legislation that President Donald Trump told fellow Republicans they must pass or they will risk losing their seats in Congress.

How the vote will turn out in the GOP-controlled House remained unclear a day before the vote. Some House Republicans, as well as Senate Republicans such as Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson, have criticized the legislation.

In the last week and a half, PolitiFact Wisconsin has done fact checks on three claims made about what is formally known as the American Health Care Act. They touch on whether the GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act will benefit the rich and result in lower premiums.

Here’s a look:

Lower-income get less, higher-income get added?

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., the replacement would reduce subsidies that help lower-income people buy health insurance, but also "expand the entitlement" by giving subsidies to higher-income people "that Obamacare never helped."

Our rating was True.

The Republican plan does offer subsidies, known as refundable tax credits, that are smaller for lower-income people than they are under Obamacare. And it does offer the credits to people with higher incomes than Obamacare does.

$600 billion for ‘the wealthiest’?

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., said that under the GOP plan, "$600 billion worth of tax breaks will go to the wealthiest in this country."

Our rating was Half True.

Tax cuts that comprise roughly half the $600 billion go only to people on the high end of the income scale. But other tax changes benefit people across the economic spectrum.

Millions for health care execs?

Another Wisconsin Democrat, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, said the GOP plan would let insurance executives "personally make millions off your health care."

Our rating: Mostly False.

A provision she cites is a tax break for corporations, not executives. And there’s no way to know how much of it would be turned into compensation for executives.

Lower premiums?

Ryan said that for people who buy health insurance on their own, the bill "will lower premiums."

That was rated Half True.

Under the GOP proposal, premiums are expected to be higher than Obamacare in 2018 and 2019, but lower than Obamacare after that.

Editor's note: The Johnson item was added to this article after the article was initially posted.

Go here to see more health care fact checks from us and our PolitiFact partners.