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Representatives work through the night to mark up proposed American Health Care Act
Early this morning the House Ways and Means Committee approved the American Health Care Act—to replace tax elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—by a vote of 23-16.
House Republican leadership introduced the legislation March 6. The American Health Care Act was created under the budget reconciliation process and requirements and is limited in its scope to amend only the tax provisions of the ACA. It does not amend the insurance and the underlying coverage requirements of the ACA. Using this process allows supporters of the American Health Care Act to pass changes to the ACA in the Senate with a simple majority of 51 votes instead of the 60 votes needed to override an expected Democratic filibuster.
In introducing the legislation, House Speaker Paul Ryan outlined three steps Congress and the Trump Administration will now take to replace the ACA:
The Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees began work on the bill this week and the legislation will likely change as it works its way through the legislative process. The House Budget Committee is expected during the week of March 13 to package the Ways and Means language with provisions from the Energy and Commerce Committee, which is yet to vote on the bill. If passed by the Committees, the legislation could be considered by the full House as early as the week of March 20.
Key issues of interest to the HR profession and the workplace:
As noted above, the bill
does not repeal the ACA insurance reforms, including the following health plan requirements:
Since the legislation does not eliminate the employer mandate, employer reporting requirements under the ACA would not change.
SHRM supports reforms that lower health care costs and improve access to high-quality and affordable coverage. The Society believes that congressional reforms should strengthen and improve the employer-based health care system. Health care reform proposals should: ensure that tax policy contributes to lower costs and greater access; preserve the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act to allow for common benefit plans across state lines; encourage increased use of prevention and wellness programs; improve quality and transparency; and streamline medical liability laws to reduce health care costs.
Chatrane Birbal is senior advisor for SHRM Government Relations. Read SHRM's position statements on health care and other HR public policy issues. Was this article useful? SHRM offers thousands of tools, templates and other exclusive member benefits, including compliance updates, sample policies, HR expert advice, education discounts, a growing online member community and much more. Join/Renew Now and let SHRM help you work smarter.
Chatrane Birbal is senior advisor for SHRM Government Relations. Read SHRM's position statements on health care and other HR public policy issues.
Was this article useful? SHRM offers thousands of tools, templates and other exclusive member benefits, including compliance updates, sample policies, HR expert advice, education discounts, a growing online member community and much more. Join/Renew Now and let SHRM help you work smarter.
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