Draft legislation aimed at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” was informally released today. The legislation is scheduled to be considered by the House Ways and Means and the House Energy and Commerce Committees following Congress’s return to Washington from the current President’s Day recess.
A preliminary review of the draft legislation reveals efforts to curtail Medicaid expansion to states, institute a per capita cap on Medicaid funds to states, the expansion of health savings accounts, as well as state-based high risk pools to address the needs of patients with pre-existing conditions. As drafted, the legislation also includes changes to the tax treatment of employer sponsored insurance.
Earlier this month, ASA President Jeffrey Plagenhoef, M.D., created an Ad Hoc Committee on Health Reform to track and discuss ongoing deliberations on legislation related to the repeal, replace or modification of the Affordable Care Act. This committee is chaired by Neal H. Cohen, M.D., MPH, MS, and includes Linda J. Mason, M.D., Genie G. Blough, MBA, FACMPE, Asokumar Buvanendran, M.D., Martin J. Kungl, M.D., Ryan Nagy, M.D., Stanley W. Stead, M.D., MBA, Steven L. Sween, M.D., Judi Turner, Ph.D., M.D., and John M. Zerwas, M.D.
ASA staff and the newly appointed Ad Hoc Committee on Health Reform will be reviewing the one hundred and five page draft bill to determine impacts to patients and to physician anesthesiologists. Additional information will be shared with ASA members as it becomes available, and the Ad Hoc Committee will be conducting listening sessions on this and other health reform related proposals as Congress begins formal deliberations and hearings.
A copy of the draft legislation can be found here.