Update on Congressional Actions Regarding the Affordable Care Act
Late last night, the Senate approved a budget resolution which lays the groundwork for repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the coming months. The resolution includes “reconciliation instructions” that direct four Congressional Committees with jurisdiction over healthcare policy to draft legislation to repeal the ACA by January 27th. This date is not binding and many anticipate that it will take Congress longer than that to settle on the repeal language.
The budget resolution passed mostly along party lines with a vote of 51-48. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) joined Democrats to vote against the measure because he supports repealing and replacing the ACA at the same time and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) missed the vote due to illness. Democrats and Republicans each offered a number of amendments on the budget resolution, all of which failed. Democratic amendments sought to put Republicans on the record about their support or opposition to popular parts of the ACA, but the failure of these “messaging” amendments does not mean that popular provisions, such as the elimination of pre-existing conditions exclusions, will definitely be repealed. This is the beginning of a long process to repeal and replace the health reform law.
The House is expected to take up the resolution on Friday. NHF is closely monitoring the progress of the ACA repeal debate and is working to ensure that the patient protections most important to our community are maintained. We will update the community as needed but feel free to contact the NHF policy team at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.