Top Republicans remain committed to repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but newly revised legislation has not yet been released.
On Monday, talks of a deal to appease both the House Freedom Caucus and Republican moderates were underway. The compromise would allow states to waive essential health benefits requirements. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce is taking the lead on revising the legislative text of the American Health Care Act — the legislation to repeal and replace the ACA that GOP leaders pulled in March. A new Congressional Budget Office score for the cost of the bill will not be provided, given the relatively small proposed adjustment. When the revised bill is released, Republicans will again have to complete a whip count to determine whether they have enough support to pass the bill.
In the meantime, Capitol Hill legislators continue work on other issues. At the top of their list is tax reform, which could affect health care. America’s Essential Hospitals is monitoring tax discussions for hospital-related issues.
In committee business, both the House and Senate continue to move forward on consideration of legislation to reauthorize Food and Drug Administration (FDA) user fees. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions holds a hearing Tuesday on improving medical product regulation and innovation for patients. The committee also will consider the nomination of Scott Gottlieb, MD, to serve as FDA commissioner.
Meanwhile, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing April 4 on cybersecurity in health care and the House Committee on Appropriations was scheduled to hold a hearing April 5 on the federal response to the opioid abuse crisis.