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In March 2017, the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee each released budget reconciliation bills. These pieces of legislation are part of the House Republican’s American Health Care Act (AHCA), the legislation designed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This article details the act’s milestones thus far.
April 24—The MacArthur Amendment was introduced. This amendment would allow states to apply for a waiver that would let them opt out of many ACA provisions. Accepting the waiver could allow insurers to raise premiums on individuals with pre-existing conditions, charge more depending on age and not cover all of the ACA’s essential health benefits.
May 3—The Upton Amendment was introduced. This amendment would establish an $8 billion fund for states that applied for waivers, to help with the higher premiums that would come as a result.
May 4—The AHCA passed the House in a party-line vote, with 217 for and 213 against. Soon after, the Senate said it would begin drafting its own version of the health care legislation.
June 22—Senate Republicans unveiled their own version of the ACA repeal bill, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). It is similar to the AHCA, but contains some differences.
What to Expect
The BCRA would need a simple majority vote in the Senate to pass. However, amendments may be made before a Senate vote is taken.
Senate Republicans have indicated that they would like to take a vote prior to the Senate’s July 4 recess. If the BCRA passes the Senate, it would need to go back to the House for approval before being signed into law by President Donald Trump.
For more information on health care reform, contact GBS Benefits, Inc. today.
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