On May 4, Republicans gained enough support to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA) through the House by a 217 to 213 vote. While this lays out a solid footprint for what’s to come, there’s still a lot of uncertainty surrounding health care 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.
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.
On Friday, March 24, moments before a vote was scheduled on the much-debated American Health Care Act (AHCA), Republican leadership, in coordination with the White House, pulled the bill. It was clear the AHCA was not going to have enough Republican support, but pulling the bill was a surprise that left people to ask, “What happens to health care reform now?”
With a House vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) looming, it’s unclear if Republicans have enough support to advance the bill, which many say doesn't do enough to adequately repeal and replace Obamacare. To garner support, Republicans are calling on their colleagues to look at the bigger picture: The AHCA is only the first step in a three-phase plan to reform American health care.
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.
On April 25 Republicans, led by Congressman Tom MacArthur of New Jersey, released the MacArthur Amendment, seeking to repeal language from the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and bridge the divide between the conservative and moderate wings of the Republican Party.
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.
On March 22, the House passed the Small Business Health Fairness Act (SBHFA). This act allows for the establishment and governance of Association Health Plans (AHPs), which are group health plans sponsored by business associations.
In what can be seen as a normal step in the legislative process, Republicans released a set of amendments to their proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA) last night. Many believe that these and possibly other amendments to the current bill will be necessary to draw enough Republican support to advance the bill through a House vote, which is set to take place this Thursday.