Just a few days into the new year, the U.S. Senate has already taken its first steps towards repealing the Affordable Care Act striping away health coverage from 30 million Americans.
With a 51-48 Senate vote fell almost entirely along party lines, an early sign of the contentiousness surrounding Republican plans to undo President Obama’s signature health-care law.
Senate Republicans held together to defeat Democratic amendments aimed at defending popular portions of the Affordable Care Act, including expanded Medicaid and Medicare drug benefits and allowing kids to stay on their parents’ insurance until 26.
The House is planning to vote on the budget and we need Congress to hear from you!
Nurses are one of the few groups Congress will listen to. You’re part of America’s most trusted profession, and everybody knows that nurses stand with patients.
Stand with your patients now, and tell Congress: Don’t take health coverage away from millions of Americans!
With a new Administration set to step into the White House, the moment of truth is here… We’ve sent the Trump transition team a detailed set of principles they should follow as they seek to dismantle and replace our existing healthcare system. But Congress is in such a rush to repeal without a thoughtful replacement that they haven’t stopped to consider the effect their actions will have on the people you see every day in your clinics, in your hospitals, in your classrooms – and in your communities.
Preventative care, prescriptions, coverage for pre-existing conditions, parents keeping their children on their insurance until age 26 – it’s all on the line. And millions of your patients are wondering what it will mean for them.
Take action now – Send a message and make sure Congress knows that nurses aren’t going to let their patients lose access to the care they need.
Dr. Tom Price, President-elect Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary, is slated to testify at a courtesy hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on January 18th at 10:00am. Price (GA-6), an orthopedic surgeon, is currently Chairman of the House Budget Committee. The Senate Finance Committee, which has primary jurisdiction of Price’s confirmation, has not yet set a date for their hearing.
Trump has said that his administration will propose a repeal and replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) once Price is confirmed. While Trump has shared no details, his plan may resemble legislation which Rep. Price has introduced in every Congress since 2009. In addition to questions around Price’s legislation, the confirmation hearings may also examine his trading of healthcare stocks while serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Health subcommittee. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the HELP Committee, suggested that Price wouldn’t be confirmed until mid-February. Should this timeline hold true, Price would not likely present the Trump administration’s plan to replace the ACA until the beginning of March.
ANA is closely working with coalition partners to protect access to affordable healthcare. In advance of the confirmation hearings, we are meeting with Senate champions on both the HELP and Finance Committees to share our priorities and offer questions to get Price on record affirming his support for improving access, quality, and affordability of healthcare — and his commitment to further advance value-based payment.
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.
Check back in to stay up to date on the latest health care reform developments.