SANTA CRUZ >> The state of California is set to announce its next step in its effort to repeal and replace President Donald Trump’s health care law.
The state is considering a new form of Obamacare that would take the law’s rules off the books and let insurance companies charge patients higher premiums and offer less coverage than under the law.
A new plan was floated Monday by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, which is leading the effort to help the state’s insurers negotiate a deal with states.
The state will also submit its plan to the Congressional Budget Office by March 31.
But even as the state looks to make a decision on the future of Obamacare, it’s not done yet.
The office has recommended that lawmakers wait until the end of 2019, and then vote on a plan that would leave in place the existing health care regulations.
The legislature must then consider the proposal, and lawmakers can either take the new plan off the table or decide to continue with the rules.
The office, which has been conducting the nonpartisan analysis since last summer, is working with state health officials to help make the process smoother.
In addition to the nonpartisan office, the office has also worked with the Department of Insurance and the Office of Health Reform, the agency that manages the state exchange.
“This is a major decision,” said Kevin Poulsen, a spokesman for Gov.
“I’m confident that we will have a plan on the table by the end.”
The state’s decision comes at a time when the Obama administration and the states are facing growing pressure to come up with a replacement plan that could work for both states and the nation.
That pressure was on full display on Capitol Hill last week, when President Donald J. Trump signed a sweeping executive order that would allow states to decide on whether to remain in the law or repeal it.
Trump signed the order on Feb. 9, and it sets the stage for a lengthy process that could take months.
California has said it expects to start negotiating its new plan next month, but the state could also seek a delay.
The Trump administration, which was trying to persuade states to keep the existing Obamacare regulations in place, has made a number of changes in its position on the matter.
On Feb. 14, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the administration would not be making any changes to the rules for insurers.
On Feb. 15, Spicer said that Trump would sign the order.
On the same day, Trump announced the administration was going to make changes to regulations in the Affordable Care Act that would protect states from having to choose between the law and TrumpCare.
The White House and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the state-run insurance program for the poor, said on Monday that it would remain in place for now.
The agencies said that would be the case even if Trump decided to withdraw the executive order.