July 21, 2017 Ken Ruotolo, Chief Operating Officer
The Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the Senate’s version of healthcare reform, is no longer viable legislation. It was a bill that many Senators disliked and it was pulled without even being approved for consideration. Senate Leader McConnell now says that he will work to amend the American Health Care Act, the House’s version of healthcare reform by attaching an amendment mirroring a repeal-only bill the Senate passed in 2015 (which was vetoed by President Obama).
The proposed amendment would repeal key portions of the ACA but without having a replacement ready. There would be a two-year delay before the repeal takes effect, presumably to give legislators time to draft a new bill from a clean slate. However, there is no guarantee that lawmakers will be able to write legislation on which most can agree. Two years is a very short time frame in which to accomplish such a huge task. That uncertainty may cause many Senators to object to the repeal amendment. Its future is highly uncertain.
Bottom line: the ACA still stands, healthcare reform remains elusive, but the silver lining may be that these failures to pass single-party reform, may be just what’s needed to get Democrats and Republicans talking about a bi-partisan solution.