March 09, 2017
House Committees Advance ACA Repeal and Replace Legislation
Two key congressional committees voted today to approve the “American Health Care Act,” legislation seeking to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) utilizing the Budget Reconciliation process. The committees acted less than a week after the bill was introduced.
After 27 hours of continuous debate, the House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced the repeal and replace legislation on Thursday afternoon with a vote of 31-23. House Democrats sought changes to the legislation through a variety of amendments, none of which were approved by the Republican Majority.
Yesterday, working concurrently with the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee approved a set of ACA repeal tax-related provisions, including eliminating the individual and employer mandate penalties that were integral to requiring all Americans to be insured. The House Ways and Means Committee passed the legislation 23-16.
One controversial issue surrounding both Committees’ consideration of the legislation was the lack of a Congressional Budget Office analysis or “score,” which would estimate the cost of the plan and how many people could lose coverage compared to current federal law and regulation.
Next, the two bills advance to the House Budget Committee where they will be combined and reviewed to ensure they meet the goals of the Budget Resolution passed in January. Republican leadership hopes the reform bill will be voted on in the full House of Representatives before the April recess.