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House Passes ACA Repeal, Replace Bill

HOUSE VOTES TO ADVANCE ACA REPEAL

In what is being hailed as a major victory for both Congressional Republicans and President Trump, on Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass a bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

While the final vote margin was very narrow – 217 to 213 – it was enough to advance the latest version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) through to the Senate. This marks a stark contrast to the GOP’s most recent attempt to get rid of the Obamacare, when the bill was pulled from consideration minutes before a vote was supposed to take place.

What would change under the new ACA repeal bill?

The latest version of the AHCA bill tackles many of the issues Republicans have with the Affordable Care Act.

Below are a few of the key provisions of the bill:

  • Phasing out federal funds for states that participated in the ACA’s Medicaid expansion program starting in 2020, and transitioning Medicaid funding to a “per capita allotment.”
  • Repealing the individual mandate.
  • Replacing existing individual subsidies with tax credits for those who aren’t eligible for coverage through an employer.
  • Allowing insurers to charge older customers up to five times as much as younger customers.
  • Allowing states to waive “essential health benefits” requirements and cost limits for individuals with pre-existing conditions.
  • Blocking Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid reimbursement for non-abortion services it providers. The bill also prohibits the use of tax credits to purchase insurance that covers abortions.

What are both sides saying?

Unsurprisingly, reactions were split pretty evenly along party lines, with many Republicans saying that the bill would help increase competition, give people more choice and lower costs. Democrats, on the other hand, still staunchly opposed the revamped health care bill. Some even went so far as to “troll” Republicans as the left the House.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.): “This bill delivers on the promises that we have made to the American people.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.): “‘Trumpcare’ eviscerates essential health benefits, and guts protections for people with pre-existing conditions.”

What’s next for ACA repeal?

The House vote is only the first of what could be many hurdles. The bill will next go to the Senate, where its fate is anything but assured.
While the GOP does have majority control of the Senate, they’ll need almost all the 52 Senate Republicans on board to pass the bill. And even if the bill does pass the Senate, it’s highly unlikely to do so unchanged. That means the will most likely go back and forth until both houses agree on a final version.

So, while the today’s vote is a victory for the new administration, GOP lawmakers still have a lot of work to do. There will need to be a number of negotiations, both within the Republican party and with Democrats, in order to get the bill through both houses of Congress and, finally, to the White House.

2 responses to “House Passes ACA Repeal, Replace Bill”

  1. Belinda Murray says:

    Allowing states to waive “essential health benefits” requirements and cost limits for individuals with pre-existing conditions. I do not like or agree with this part of the ACHA. I have been a Trump fan from the very beginning, but he will need to change this to keep my support. I also do not like that it will allow insurance companies to charge higher rates to older people. You’ve got some work to do Mr. President.

    • G&A Partners says:

      The bill that passed the House yesterday is only the first hurdle for plans to repeal the ACA – we’ve still got a long way to go before a final version of the bill makes it to President Trump’s desk, and it’s highly likely that this legislation will undergo some major changes before it does.

      The version that passed yesterday did also include an amendment to provide an additional $8 billion in resources over 5 years to reduce premiums and other out-of-pocket expenses for patients with pre-existing conditions as a means of appeasing lawmakers who balked at eliminating protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions under the ACA.

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