Congress Passes Bill To Repeal ACA Provisions; Obama To Veto
The bill now goes to President Obama, who is expected to veto it (Sullivan, The Hill, 1/6).
The reconciliation process allows legislation to advance through the Senate on a simple majority vote. The process can be used to target aspects of the ACA that address spending and revenue, meaning the technique could not uproot the entire law. However, such an effort could render the law "unworkable."
The budget reconciliation measure would repeal the law's taxes on:
- "Cadillac" health plans;
- Medical devices;
- Indoor tanning services;
- Over-the-counter medications; and
- Prescription drugs.
The bill also would eliminate:
- The ACA's individual and employer mandates;
- The ACA's subsidies to help consumers purchase health plans through the exchanges created under the law; and
- Fines that can be levied on U.S. residents and businesses for not purchasing or offering health coverage under the law.
Further, the bill would:
- Phase out the ACA's Medicaid expansion after a two-year transition period;
- Remove risk-adjustment programs that reimburse insurers; and
- Repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund.
In addition, the measure would strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood for one year and redirect some of the funding to community health centers (California Healthline, 12/4/15).
GOP Leaders Plan Override Vote, Focus on ACA Replacement Plan
According to Modern Healthcare, Obama has 10 days from the bill's passage, excluding Sundays, to veto the measure (Muchmore, Modern Healthcare, 1/6).
Republican leaders in Congress said they will try to override the veto, but it is likely that neither the House nor Senate has enough votes to successfully do so. GOP leaders said they plan to hold the override vote toward the end of this month (Kelly, USA Today, 1/6).
Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has asked committee chairs to use several House proposals to replace the ACA with a single plan.
According to The Hill, Republicans have not yet agreed on any single replacement proposal. Republican lawmakers plan to discuss a replacement proposal during a GOP retreat next week (The Hill, 1/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.