The latest on health reform and the end of recess

  

With the two-week Congressional recess coming to an end, we wanted to give you a quick recap of district work period activity and a preview of things to come next week when Congress is back in session.

Members of Congress have been in their home districts for the last two weeks since their failed attempts to repeal the ACA and replace it with their own legislation, and they definitely got an earful from constituents. From moderate House Republican members like Rep. Mike Coffman to conservative House Freedom Caucus members like Rep. Raul Labrador, House Republicans faced angry constituents across the country on issues ranging from healthcare to taxes.

That said, the White House signaled over the recess their continued optimism in cobbling together support in Congress for a health reform deal, and House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows confirmed that these discussions had progressed. But though the White House was initially eager to try to build support for a bill and bring it up for a vote before the President’s 100 days in office mark next week, Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle poured cold water on that idea. ANA’s Government Affairs team has been in touch with key Congressional offices, and have learned that the legislative language could include state waivers that would allow states to opt out of the community rating and essential health benefits provisions. The community rating provisions, established under the ACA law, stops insurance companies from raising premiums based on an individuals’ health and would undermine protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

Since the final legislative language has not been made public, it’s unclear whether this compromise will move votes, and there are no updated whip counts on how individual House Republican members plan on voting for such a bill. House Republicans will hold a conference call tomorrow (Saturday, April 22nd) to discuss the way forward on a health reform bill.

On an even more pressing front, Congressional leaders have to pass a government spending bill by April 28th in order to avoid a government shutdown. There’s been discussion of passing a one-week funding stopgap, which would maintain current levels of funding for an additional week while Congress continues to negotiate a long-term deal. That said, the White House is insisting that a funding bill include moneys for a border wall, which Democrats have made clear is a non-starter, further imperiling talks. Next week will be a busy one on Capitol Hill, so be sure to stay informed with updates here at ANA’s Capitol Beat.

3 thoughts on “The latest on health reform and the end of recess”

  1. PPACA or ACA but also known as Obamacare, was enacted, providing for the phased introduction over multiple years of a comprehensive system of mandated health insurance reforms designed to eliminate “some of the worst practices of the insurance companies”—pre-existing condition screening and premium loadings, policy cancellations on technicalities when illness seems imminent, annual and lifetime coverage caps.

    1. American Nurses Association, thank you for Capitol Beat. Zzdayinfo, thank you for a reiterative highlight of key issues addressed in the Affordable Care Act. It is an effective, comprehensive, health care plan. I have commented to Gregory Craig’s article on “Capitol Beat” from the American Nurses Association on 9-13-2017.

  2. These options included increased use of health information technology, research and incentives to improve medical decision making, reduced tobacco use and obesity, reforming the payment of providers to encourage efficiency, limiting the tax federal exemption for health insurance premiums, and reforming several market changes such as resetting the benchmark rates for Medicare Advantage plans and allowing the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate drug prices.

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