Unclear Path for American Health Care Act

March 24, 2017

This week, the House of Representatives plans on voting on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) legislation which would repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The path to passage, however, has been met with challenges after President Trump was unable to make a deal with the House Freedom Caucus. The Caucus was hoping to have items included in the bill which rolled back the essential health benefits mandate on insurance plans. It is unclear if the bill will be brought to the House floor by the end of the week or extended to next week. Without the votes from the Caucus the legislation is not projected to pass the House.

The bill had previously passed the House Energy & Commerce Committee and the Ways & Means Committee through a long markup process. Very few changes were made to the legislation. It is important to note that the AHCA is designed to meet budget reconciliation instructions that were contained in the House, and Senate, passed budget resolution. This means that the AHCA is designed to save money. The House Budget Committee passed the legislation, the bill was then heard in the House Rules Committee where it underwent some amendments. Senators on both sides of the aisle oppose the bill as is, so the bill’s prognosis in the Senate remains unclear as well.

The legislation cuts Medicaid funding and changes the structure of the program. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score showed that the bill would cut the Medicaid program by $880 billion over ten years, which is a significant cut. The Society has sent a letter to House leaders expressing concerns about the Medicaid provisions in the bill. Click here to read more.