Senate to Delay Votes on BCRA; CBO Score Says Millions Would Lose Coverage

July 7, 2017

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that the Senate will delay voting on the Better Care Reconciliation Act, H. R. 1628 (BCRA of 2017). At this point there are not enough votes to pass the legislation with key Senators and Governors voicing concerns over provisions that change the Medicaid funding mechanism. Last week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that some 22 million more Americans would lose coverage by 2026 under the current proposal. For these reasons the Society opposed the legislation sending a letter to Congressional leadership asking them to work with the Society and other stakeholders to enact legislation that would strengthen the care for and “protect our nation’s post-acute and long-term care population.”

The Senate continues to discuss the legislation, mainly behind closed doors, with floor action not expected until at least next week. Several proposals are being floated to alleviate concerns of those opposed but it remains unclear which will make it as part of the formal amendment process. Some Senators have called Senate leadership to cancel the traditional August recess to continue to work to move this and other agenda items forward. At this point, there are no plans to do so.

Stay tuned to Society’s Health Policy Advisor for more information.