NEW YORK ( MainStreet) — Earlier this week Senate Republicans unveiled their plan for a new conservative approach to health care reform (the current law having originally been proposed by the Heritage Foundation). Since it's a proposal instead of an actual bill, the Patient CARE Act (PCA) leaves a lot to the imagination, most notably the mechanics of how it would actually achieve many of its goals. It also has no chance of actually becoming a law without sweeping Republican victories in both the White House and Senate.

Still, this document gives America its first real look at how conservatives would manage the national health care crisis. Here's how the Patient CARE Act compares with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on seven major issues:

The Individual Mandate

Affordable Care Act
Obamacare invented the individual mandate as a matter of national law. Under the Affordable Care Act, all Americans must have health insurance or pay a fine, whether they get it from a third party or purchase it themselves.

Patient CARE Act
The PCA would revoke Obamacare and the individual mandate. It would impose no official requirement that Americans to carry insurance, although it would create an effective one (see pre-existing conditions).

Pre-Existing Conditions

Affordable Care Act
No insurance company can base pricing or coverage on a pre-existing condition. Companies can charge no more than three times as much based on age.

Patient CARE Act
Insurance companies can discriminate based on pre-existing conditions for anyone who does not already have insurance. Companies cannot discriminate based on pre-existing conditions only for customers who have had uninterrupted coverage for the previous 18 months before application.

Medicaid

Affordable Care Act
Obamacare includes a major expansion of Medicaid, giving states the funds to expand eligibility up to 138% of the federal poverty level. This is a voluntary expansion for any states that choose to opt in.

Patient CARE Act
Under the PCA the government would help fund Medicaid up to 100% of the federal poverty level. It would also offer recipients tax credits to purchase insurance on the private market.

Choice of Insurers

Affordable Care Act
The ACA created minimum standards for all health insurance. Consumers are free to choose any plan available that meets these requirements.

Patient CARE Act
This law would remove all coverage minimums except those established at the state level. Consumers are free to choose any plan available.

Taxes

Affordable Care Act
The ACA includes a mandate for most employers to provide insurance or pay a tax-based penalty. It also includes a series of smaller tax increases and reduced deductions in many different areas. See here for a full list.

Patient CARE Act
The PCA would eliminate all of the tax increases from the Affordable Care Act. It would effectively raise taxes on anyone insured through his employer by reducing the health care deduction for individuals, but not companies, from 100% to 65%. It would give out tax credits to anyone who is self employed or working for a small business.