ACA Repeal Fails in the Senate
ACA Repeal Fails in the SenateJuly 31, 2017
Renee McLemore, VP of Sales and Marketing
Last week there was a flurry of debate and voting in the Senate, culminating with a midnight vote on a scaled down or “skinny” plan to repeal parts of the ACA. While many feel this latest defeat set a tone of finality for the Senate repeal efforts, several lawmakers are already pressing forward with new bills for consideration. Michael Lujan, past president of CAHU and regular contributor to health care industry publications summarizes the bills in development in his blog. Lujan points out that:
- The House Freedom Caucus is already working on a new bill that can pass the Senate, including proposals offered by Senators Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, Ted Cruz, and Rob Portman. Another Freedom Caucus Member Rep. Jim Jordan says the group still wants to force a vote for a full repeal in the House.
- Senator Graham was at the White House pitching his own health care proposal to President Trump (turn ACA spending over to the states).
- Democrat Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer held a press conference to invite Republicans to work with Democrats on bipartisan ACA fixes, including permanently funding the law’s cost-sharing subsidies for low-income people.
- Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill is reaching across the aisle and says some moderate Republicans and Democrats have “already begun meetings” on a bipartisan bill.
Lujan also discusses the impact to California and the need for market stability and cost controls. Insurers react to uncertainly with rate increases to hedge their liability, which means the current Senate activities will likely cause insurance rates in 2018 to increase, especially for individual coverage. Insurers are also addressing market demand for less expensive premiums, resulting in plans with narrowing provider networks or reduced plan benefits. The role of the licensed agent becomes critical in this environment, to provide education and guidance to employers and individuals in order to navigate the increasingly complex menu of health insurance options.
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