September 26, 2017
Latest Senate GOP Health Care Reform Effort Falls Short
Senate Republican leadership has announced that the latest GOP attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
, drafted by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) will no longer be voted on this week. This announcement comes after Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), John McCain (R-AZ), and Rand Paul (R-KY) announced their firm opposition to the proposal effectively blocking Republicans from securing sufficient votes for passage. They are opposed, despite the bill’s authors making a number of revisions to the proposal over the weekend.
The Senators' opposition is accompanied by theCongressional Budget Office’s (CBO) analysis
of aspects of an earlier version of this proposal, which showed that the proposal would save an estimated $133 billion over 10 years, while simultaneously reducing the number of people with insurance coverage by “millions.” CBO reported that additional time would be required for a more in-depth analysis of the proposal. Given that the proposal is no longer under consideration, it is unknown when or if additional analyses of the proposal might be published.
September 30 is the deadline to proceed with repeal and replace efforts under a special process called reconciliation. This process allows for the bill to pass with merely 51 votes, instead of the chamber's more usual 60 vote threshold.
With the demise of this most recent attempt, and the closing of the reconciliation window at the end of this month, immediate efforts to repeal and replace ACA are unlikely. In July, in a series of dramatic votes, separate proposals to repeal and replace the ACA were rejected. However, Republicans are considering ways of moving forward with their health care reform agenda, potentially through the budget process for next year.
ASA physician leaders and staff will keep members updated of any new developments.