The Senate started considering amendments to the fiscal 2017 budget resolution, a process known as budget reconciliation, which will pave the way for repeal of large sections of the Affordable Care Act including: premium subsidies, cost sharing subsidies, contraception coverage, Medicaid expansion, the individual mandate, and the employer mandate.
What is the budget reconciliation process?
The budget reconciliation process is used to address tax and spending matters, including entitlement spending (i.e. Medicare, Medicaid). The process is an effective legislative tool as it is not subject to the Senate’s typical 60-vote threshold for passage. Rather, the bill can be passed by a simple majority of 50-votes.
Policy experts assert that repealing ACA’s unpopular provisions, like the individual and employer mandates as well as the law’s accompanying tax revenue, make it nearly impossible to preserve its most popular provisions – preexisting condition protections, subsidies that make quality coverage affordable, Medicaid expansion to 10million Americans.
Republican lawmakers are increasingly expressing public concern over plans to use the reconciliation process to repeal without a replacement.
ANA is actively engaged in these ongoing discussions, meeting and working with Members of Congress and coalition partners throughout the health care community to ensure the nursing profession’s voice is heard loud and clear.
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