Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has indicated he will bring to the Senate floor early next week a Motion to Proceed to a vote on legislation to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Senate Republicans late Wednesday released a bill to repeal the ACA, without a replacement. The Obamacare Repeal and Reconciliation Act (ORRA) would sunset major provisions of the health law, including repealing its coverage expansion, in 2020. However, it is uncertain if the vote will be for the ORRA or a revised version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the ORRA, an updated version of the 2015 repeal bill that passed the Congress but was vetoed by President Obama, would result in 32 million more people uninsured in 2026 and cut $842 billion in federal spending from the Medicaid program from 2017-2026.
The CBO analysis of the revised draft of the BCRA, would result in 22 million individuals losing insurance coverage over 10 years and $756 billion in federal funding being cut from the Medicaid program. In addition, the revised BCRA eliminates an amendment by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) that would have allowed insurers that sell a minimum number of compliant health plans on the marketplaces to also sell non-compliant products off of the marketplaces.
The ORRA cuts funding for states that expanded Medicaid, as well as the tax credits to purchase health coverage on the individual market. Previous analyses of similar legislation projected that the individual market would become unworkable under the ORRA. Insurance plans would be required to accept all customers, including those who are very sick, but healthy people would likely sit on the sidelines, since they would not be penalized for remaining uninsured. The result could be a death spiral, where only sick people purchase coverage and premiums keep rising.
SDAHO joins with the AHA, LeadingAge, and others to urge the Senate to reject both of these bills and work in a bipartisan manner to make the much-needed repairs and refinements to the ACA.
Please contact Senator Thune and Rounds today through our Legislative Action Center to share your concerns.