Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Revival of ACA Replacement Legislation

from Ntl Family Voices:

After the vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) was cancelled on March 24, it seemed that efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were on the back burner for the foreseeable future. But, during the past week, the president and some Members of the House and Senate are talking about reviving the legislation, or starting anew to work out some sort of compromise proposal. See A Possible Trumpcare Comeback.
On Monday afternoon, Vice-President Pence visited Capitol Hill to talk with The Tuesday Group (moderate House Republicans). On Monday night, he met with the House Freedom Caucus (the most conservative House Republicans), who reportedly were open to suggestions for compromise but would not make any commitments until they saw legislative language. Freedom Caucus leader Mike Meadows (R-NC) reportedly indicated that a vote could come as early as this week if the language was acceptable to the Caucus. Over the weekend, the president talked (over golf) with Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who has been aligned with the views of the Freedom Caucus on the AHCA. Senator Paul seemed open to compromise as well, but thought more time would be needed to develop legislation.
According to an AXIOS article, New Trumpcare offer to Freedom Caucus: Let Tom Price handle It, the administration's proposed compromise would be to give Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tom Price the authority to let states waive certain ACA provisions, particularly the requirement that insurance plans cover ten "Essential Health Benefits," and the "community rating" requirement, which prevents insurers from charging higher rates to individuals with pre-existing conditions. Even if a bill with these provisions were approved by the House, it would be more difficult to get it through the Senate, where there could be procedural obstacles and where the loss of more than two Republican votes would kill the legislation (assuming, as would be likely, that all Democrats and Independents opposed it).
The president has said that, if the administration does not reach an agreement with the Freedom Caucus, he would deal with the Democrats.

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