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The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017: What we know now and what comes next

After many weeks of secrecy that drew contempt from Democrats and Republicans alike, Senate Republicans have finally revealed their draft of a health care reform bill. Called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, the bill retains much of the original American Health Care Act (AHCA), but shifts some provisions toward the moderate end of the spectrum. 

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The ACA took 9 months to pass—how long will it take to reform?

“One step forward, two steps back” seems to be the current state of health care reform. While the American Health Care Act (AHCA) had its merits, the bill didn’t even make it to a vote—setting back Republican goals for the time being. Now, the White House is indicating it may push another bill to Congress in a matter of days, even though little has been resolved between the moderate and conservative members of the Republican Party.

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Health care vs. health care coverage: The difference matters

You’ve likely heard a lot about health care recently—reforming it, repealing it, and replacing it. But what is perhaps most confusing is how everyone from lawmakers to the media is talking about the subject. Often they use the term “health care” (preventative medicine, emergency room visits, and prescription drugs) interchangeably with “health care coverage,” an entirely different animal, and a pathway to health care itself.

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Moderate vs. conservative: What health care bill will come out on top?

The House’s health care bill, known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA), took some major steps forward over the past several weeks. It passed the House, after the addition of two crucial amendments—the MacArthur Amendment, which allows states to opt out of essential health benefits and community ratings, and the Upton Amendment, which allocates an extra $8 billion to high risk pools—and is now under review in the Senate. The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) recent score of the AHCA was similar to scores of previous iterations of the bill: premiums would rise, the uninsured population would increase, and the deficit would decrease. 

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Breaking down the new CBO score of the AHCA

Yesterday the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its score of the latest version of the H.R. 1628, American Health Care Act (AHCA) of 2017. Not surprisingly, the analysis revealed that, compared to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), millions more Americans will be without insurance, plans will cover less, and rates could increase drastically for those with pre-existing conditions.

Here are the highlights of the new CBO score, as well as a comparison to the CBO scores of previous versions of the bill.  

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AHCA passes the House: Republicans take the first step in ACA repeal and replace

Today, House Republicans took the first significant step toward repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by narrowly passing the American Health Care Act (AHCA) with a 217 to 213 vote. The road to the bill’s passing was not an easy one. The party stood divided for months over key issues such as Medicaid funding, ACA mandates, and pre-existing conditions, which prevented them from making any real progress. And these differing views resulted in the original replacement plan failing to reach a vote at the end of March.

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Stay the course: Why you should stop waiting for ACA repeal

While Republican lawmakers are united in their desire to reform health care, the death of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) means it’s back to the drawing board for ACA repeal. Talk of starting over has been circulating on Capitol Hill, but a new replacement plan has not been proposed yet. Overall, it’s causing a lot of confusion for lawmakers, business owners, and American citizens alike.

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