Washington- Republicans in the US House of Representatives have introduced their bill to repeal Obamacare individual mandate that also aims to maintain coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and allow children to stay on their parents' plans until the age of 26.

The measure would offer individuals refundable tax credits to purchase health insurance and restructure the country's Medicaid program so that states receive a set amount of money from the federal government every year, changes experts warn could result in millions of people losing access to insurance they received under the Affordable Care Act, the (CNN) reported.

It also largely would keep Obamacare protections of those with pre-existing conditions, but allows insurers to charge higher premiums to those who let their coverage lapse.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Obamacare is "rapidly collapsing" and it is "time to turn the page".

"The American Health Care Act is a plan to drive down costs, encourage competition, and give every American access to quality, affordable health insurance. It protects young adults, patients with pre-existing conditions, and provides a stable transition so that no one has the rug pulled out from under them," Ryan said in a statement.

The measure sets up a political battle that could consume Congress for much of the year.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer praised the bill's release, saying: "Obamacare has proven to be a disaster with fewer options, inferior care, and skyrocketing costs that are crushing small business and families across America".

"Today marks an important step toward restoring health care choices and affordability back to the American people. President Trump looks forward to working with both Chambers of Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare," he said in a statement.

The Obamacare law was signed in 2010. It became controversial because of the rising cost of monthly premiums for many people and because of restrictions on care within the new insurance plans.

Millions of Americans who got healthcare insurance for the first time under the reform, especially low-income people, largely oppose repealing it or making any other drastic changes. (QNA)

Source: Qatar News Agency