‘Last-Ditch’ Bill To Repeal the ACA Healthcare
Legislation on Wednesday, 9-13-17 to repeal and replace major portions of the ACA with a system of block grants, is submitted as a first step towards making good on a seven-year House promise.
The bill is suggested as a good chance to advance the replace and repeal effort. The bill would replace ACA’s Medicaid expansion, subsidies for private insurance companies (cost-sharing reductions) and tax-credits for middle-income Americans with block grants. The new funding mechanism would start in 2020 and would provide states with the opportunity to apply for grants from a pool of $136 billion. That pool would grow nearly 50% in six years, reaching $200 billion in 2026. The legislation does not provide permanent funding for the block grant program, funding would have to be addressed again in 2026.
The legislation does include two features of previous ACA repeal proposals – it would repeal both the individual and employer mandates to purchase insurance, which consumers and businesses have lamented since 2014.
Effectively, what the senators described Wednesday is a bill that would put a great deal of “power” back in the hands of the states. Under the legislation, states could innovate as to how they choose to implement features of the ACA, as long as they include protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
The ACA currently grants states some ability to choose how they implement through 1332 waivers, which allow states to tailor plans as long as they meet the basic ACA protections. Wednesday’s plan stipulates that the flexibility provided to states through the bill would be tied to block grants. Thus, states would be allowed to manage their own health care programs, with less oversight from federal agencies.
The senators face big challenges to get the bill through the House, the Senate and to the President within three weeks. The bill must have a public hearing in any congressional committee, must be scored by the non-partisan budget agency, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
There is great effort from Washington to push something through that will help Americans. The next few weeks may bring about the much needed consensus required.
Source: Daily Caller News Foundation