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On the Hill: Senate Plans Vote for ACA Repeal

The Senate is expected to vote this week on a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

On July 25, the Senate approved — through a tie-breaker vote by Vice President Mike Pence — a motion to proceed (MTP), which is needed to open the debate of the house-passed American Health Care Act on the Senate floor. A handful of Senate Republicans still are undecided or unsupportive of the repeal bills so far presented and Senate Republican leadership has been working to negotiate a deal.

Going forward, the Senate likely will consider a substitute amendment based on a 2015 bill to fully repeal the ACA with a two-year transition period. That amendment is expected to fail. The Senate then would bring up a second substitute amendment — the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). At that point, the floor would be opened to amendments from any senator.

Senate Republican leadership also is considering the parliamentarian’s recommendations, which found several provisions in the BCRA would violate the “Byrd rule.” The rule requires all provisions in budget reconciliation to have a direct impact on the federal budget. Senate Republican leadership could disregard those recommendations altogether and proceed to vote on the bill.

America’s Essential Hospitals released a statement on the revised version of the BCRA and an Action Alert to members urging them to call their lawmakers about the repeal-and-delay plan released last week.

Committee Activity

The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee on July 26 will hold a hearing to examine the extension of Special Needs Plans.

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About the Author

Erin Delaney is the legislative affairs associate at America's Essential Hospitals.