House to Vote on ACA Repeal Today
House Republicans plan to vote on Thursday to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. GOP leaders in the house are confident they have enough votes to pass the legislation and can avoid withdrawing the bill as happened during their previous attempt in March. Even though they claim to have the votes, the final resolution will be close.
The vote is expected to happen around 1:15 PM EST today. You can watch it live here.
While the fight for the bill in the House may be ending, the bill would still need to be approved by the Senate, where even more opposition is expected. While in control of both houses, the Republican control of the Senate is much narrower, and thus they cannot afford to lose as many votes from their own party as they can in the house.
“My guess is we’re going to spend at least a month looking at the issue, making sure that it passes the test of time,” said Senator Bob Corker (R-SC) in an interview with MSNBC.
Today’s bill, the American Healthcare Act, aims to repeal most of the taxes created by the ACA like the individual mandate penalty for not having insurance. The bill would also slash Medicaid funding and roll back its expansion from the ACA.
The recent events surrounding the healthcare debate shows the difficulty of creating a healthcare system everyone agrees too. Moderate republicans – during both the last attempt and the lead up to this one – were wary of voting because they worried it would leave too many individuals with pre-existing conditions without coverage. At the same time, the conservative Republicans in the House Freedom Caucus didn’t support the original bill because it didn’t remove enough of the ACAs mandates.
Both sides have come to a compromise: Adding $8 billion to create high-risk pools for people with pre-existing conditions while allowing states the choice to waive some of the ACA provisions if they can prove they are increasing access to care while doing so.
A stark difference between this proposal and the previous one is the lack of assessment from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). During March’s attempt, the CBO reported the plan would ultimately save money, but at the cost of approximately 24 million Americans losing their insurance coverage. This results sparked outrage and left many members of the House cautious to vote on the proposal. This time, however, members of the House will be voting on the bill without a CBO report.
“Forcing a vote without a CBO score shows that Republicans are terrified of the public learning the full consequences of their plan to push Americans with pre-existing conditions into the cold,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in a statement.
Healthcare Reform Magazine will be following this all day as it happens. Be sure to check back frequently, and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn to stay on top of the latest developments.