House Passes Republican Health Care Bill

By Stephen Miller, CEBS May 4, 2017

Update: The House passed the American Health Care Act on Thursday, May 4, by a vote of 217-213. For full coverage of the bill and what comes next, see House Passes GOP Health Care Bill; Now What?

House vote.jpg

Today, House Republican leaders put their bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act to a vote. The party's conservatives and moderates negotiated changes to the bill since House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., pulled the bill—the American Health Care Act—on March 24 in the middle of a vote when it failed to attract enough support to pass. On May 3, House Republicans corralled a few more votes among moderate GOP lawmakers after promising an additional $8 billion to help those with pre-existing conditions pay for health care in the individual insurance market.

GOP Makes Second Attempt at House Vote

The dramatic and long-awaited announcement put to an end a flurry of speculation about whether the Republican health care bill would come up on the House floor for a vote—or collapse one more time in another embarrassment.

ACA Replacement Bill Shows Signs of Life

Democratic congressional leaders still hope for the bill's demise, after which some see bipartisan opportunities to fix the ACA's problems and address rising health care prices.
(SHRM Online)

Amendment Gives States Flexibility

The amended bill would give states the flexibility to apply for waivers from certain requirements imposed on individual market plans and group plans offered by small employers. One waiver would allow states to opt out of mandating that insurers cover 10 essential health benefits in health care plans.
(SHRM Government Affairs)

$8 Billion to Help Cover Pre-Existing Conditions

As amended, the bill allows states to request a waiver from the requirement that insurance carriers offer coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions. An additional $8 billion would be provided over five years to help states that receive this waiver to fund high-risk insurance plans for those with pre-existing conditions. But the funding was quickly dismissed as inadequate by many patient advocates.
(Los Angeles Times

An Uncertain Fate in the Senate

Senate Republicans are all but certain to reject vast portions of the bill should it clear the House. But clearing the House is a necessary step to keep alive the Republican promise—seven years in the making—to dismantle President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement.
(New York Times)

Related SHRM Articles:

SHRM Health Care Reform Resources for Employers

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