Nov 16, 2017

Senate Adds Repeal of Individual Mandate to Its Tax Bill: Will This Change Doom the Bill’s Passage?

Health Care Law Binder

Over the past few weeks, the U.S. House and Senate have been working independently on tax bills. While these bills have included some health care related changes, the latest version of the Senate bill now includes the repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. This addition provides funding for the tax breaks included in the bill and will allow the Senate Republicans to eliminate at least a small portion of the ACA. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) previously estimated that eliminating the individual mandate will reduce the federal deficit by about $338 billion over the 2018–2027 period. However, eliminating… Read more


Sep 26, 2017

ACA Repeal and Replace – Now DOA in the Senate

Senate Passes Tax Reform

The Senate Republicans admitted defeat for the latest version of the “repeal and replace” bill. “We don’t have the votes,” bill co-sponsor Bill Cassidy of Louisiana told reporters in Washington. “We’ve made the decision, since we don’t have the votes, we’ll postpone that vote.” This means that the Senate will not vote before Saturday’s deadline to use the budget “reconciliation” process to pass a GOP-only bill. When Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine added her opposition to that of GOP Senators John McCain of Arizona and Rand Paul of Kentucky, it was enough to doom the bill in the Senate…. Read more


Sep 25, 2017

Senate’s Repeal and Replace Bill May Be Dead on Arrival

Flatline

Senate Republican leaders may not be able to muster the votes needed to pass the latest version of “repeal and replace,” after Sen. Susan Collins (R-Me.) said she couldn’t envision voting for the bill. “It’s very difficult for me to imagine a scenario where I would end up voting for this bill,” Ms. Collins said Sunday on CNN. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY.) has also outlined tough demands to secure his vote on this bill. As a reminder, the Senate Republicans are attempting to pass this bill under the “reconciliation” process, needing only Republican votes to pass. As with prior attempts,… Read more


Sep 21, 2017

Senate’s Last “Gasp” Effort to Repeal and Replace the ACA

Health Care Reform

Republicans are making a last “gasp” effort to pass “repeal and replace” legislation in the Senate, before the “reconciliation” clock runs out. A new health care “repeal and replace” bill, introduced by Sens. Lindsey Graham, (R-S.C.), Bill Cassidy, (R-La.), and others will be slated for a vote next week. This bill, like earlier Senate versions, would repeal the employer and individual mandate, and eliminate others taxes such as the medical device tax. It’s most controversial provision relates to how the Medicaid expansion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the states’ premium support subsidies will be allocated. The bill provides… Read more


Jul 30, 2017

Skinny Reform Failed- Is Health Care Reform Dead, or Just on Life Support?

Taking Vitals

In a late night session ending at 1:30 a.m. on Friday,  the Republicans’ seven-year promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) appeared to end, at least for the time being. John McCain, who dramatically returned to Washington to vote on health care reform after his brain cancer diagnosis, voted “No” on skinny repeal, sending the bill to defeat by a one-vote margin. The ACA will remain in place—at least for now—but there are huge questions about how the Trump administration will handle key aspects of the law, as deadlines loom for insurers’ decisions about next year. President Trump has… Read more


Jul 27, 2017

Senate “Repeal” Failed, Now Try “Skinny” Repeal of Obamacare

US Capitol Building

Yesterday, the “repeal bill” known as the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act (ORRA) failed to win enough votes for passage, losing 45-55. Now, Republican Senators will try to pass what has been dubbed a “skinny repeal” bill that will eliminate the mandates for employers and individuals to maintain health coverage, and potentially roll back medical device and other corporate taxes. The exact bill has not yet been crafted, but many Republicans appear to be determined to find some way to keep the health care debate alive. As stated by Senator Thom Tillis (R., N.C.), “we need an outcome, and if a so-called… Read more


Jul 26, 2017

Senate Votes Again On Health Care: Is There an End Game?

Capitol Building with Reflection

Late Tuesday, the Senate voted by a narrow margin (a 51-50 vote that required a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence) to debate health care reform. Just seven hours later, as expected, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) failed on a 43-57 vote. Nine Republican senators voted “no” on the BCRA, as did all Democrats. The Republicans were Susan Collins of Maine, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Dean Heller of Nevada, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Mike Lee of Utah. This version of BCRA… Read more



Jul 25, 2017

Senator McCain To Return for Showdown on Health Care

US Capitol Building

Senator John McCain (R., Arizona), recently diagnosed with brain cancer, has confirmed that he will return to the Senate this afternoon to vote on bringing health care reform to the floor for debate. Specifically, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Kentucky) is expected to ask for  a procedural vote to approve debate on the Senate’s version of the “repeal and replace” and/or “repeal” bill regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This vote is needed to continue the Republicans’ 7- year promise to repeal and replace the ACA.


Jul 20, 2017

Health Care “Repeal and Replace” Becomes “Repeal, and Replace Later”

Capitol Building with Reflection

After the collapse this week of the Senate’s version of the “repeal and replace” legislation, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), a “repeal and replace in 2 years” bill was introduced in the Senate on July 19, 2017. The “Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act of 2017” (ORRA) is based on a repeal bill passed in 2015 by the House of Representatives and the Senate but vetoed by then-President Obama. The ORRA would repeal various provisions of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) but delay the effective date of repeal for two years, during which Congress would craft replacement legislation. Assuming the Senate… Read more