Senate Seeking to Gain Momentum to Overhaul the ACA

Senate Seeking to Gain Momentum to Overhaul the Affordable Care Act

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell publicly shared his goal for the Senate to vote on the Senate’s version of the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA) prior to the Senate leaving for recess before July 4. Despite initial vows to conduct public hearings and to move the measure more thoughtfully, the Senate Republicans are now proceeding to a different tune. The bill will not be thoroughly vetted through policy committees, but will instead, likely proceed directly to the floor for a vote as done by House Republicans.

Senate Republicans still have a daunting task ahead of them. Under reconciliation rules, the Senate’s bill must achieve the same federal savings as the AHCA passed by the house, $119 billion. The current savings scored for the AHCA is largely related to the elimination of the Medicaid expansion, which would cause 14 million people would be uninsured in 2018, growing to 23 million in 2026. Senate Republicans have suggested their bill would be more generous to consumers; however, in order to do this, tax increases would need to remain intact. Providing more generous benefits and providing tax relief would be nearly impossible to deliver.

Language has not yet been released; however, in order to meet the Senate Majority Leader’s deadline, language will need to be released soon to the CBO for a score.

CHEAC will continue to provide updates as things progress.

On a final note, CHEAC has signed on to another joint letter with CSAC, CAPH, CBHDA, CMSP, CWDA, and UCC, addressed to Senators Feinstein and Harris, expressing California’s counties’ opposition to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and outlining our major concerns with the significant proposed changes to the Medicaid program as the Senate deliberates the AHCA.