House Passes ACA Repeal, Now Goes To Senate

Posted May 12, 2017 by Mary McGinley

Last week, the United States House of Representatives voted to replace the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare on the narrowest of margins. The resolution to repeal passed by a single vote. In order to indicate just how contentious this issue has become, not a single Democrat voted in favor of the repeal.

According to an article appearing in the New York Times, even while the Trump administration was celebrating their victory on the White House Lawn and the President himself insisting that premiums and deductibles would go down dramatically, constituents and organizations such as AARP and those representing both physicians and hospitals say that the repeal would be disastrous causing an estimated 24 million Americans to lose their healthcare.

The House bill would eliminate the tax penalties for not having health insurance and would offer tax credits rather than subsidies as well as rolling back any expansions of Medicaid that are received by the states. The amount of tax credits received depends on the age and income of those seeking insurance.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) a non-partisan government body estimates that while it would shave a considerable amount from the budget, it would make healthcare costs out of reach for many of the poor who were receiving health benefits for the first time under the ACA.

The bill now goes on to the Senate which is drafting their own version of a repeal and replace bill and will not likely use much of what is in the bill that just passed the House. Democrats and some Republicans warn that those who voted in favor of taking away health care from Americans who have insurance for the first time under the ACA will have to answer for their actions in 2018 and 2020.  

Congress in an attempt to get hardline conservative colleagues on board offered provisions that would allow states to roll back required coverage for essential services which include pre-natal and emergency services. States could also get waivers that allow the insurers to charge higher premiums for those who are over the age of 50 and for those who have pre-existing medical conditions. This latter group would leave no family in the United States exempt from potentially paying far more for insurance. Republican Senator Dan Heller of Nevada, who is up for re-election in 2018, insists that pulling the rug out from under states which implemented Medicare expansion is an unwise move. “We need assurances that people with pre-existing conditions will be protected.”

Democrats are confident that repeal of the ACA will be fully laid at the feet of the Republican majority congress and an increasingly unpopular president. Democratic Congressman Jim McGovern told Republicans that they were taking away essential health care protections and would allow the insurance industry to discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions. Massachusetts Representative Joseph Kennedy III reminded members of the House that it isn’t just a matter of economics but of the character of who we are as Americans to take care of those who are sick or elderly and who need care.

With the debate over healthcare far from over in Congress, it can be hard to know what may happen that will affect how everyone purchases and receives insurance.  The ACA or ObamaCare was already confusing, and now with the push to repeal and replace under the new administration, it’s gotten even more so.  At EinsteinHR, we can be there to help answer the questions you may still have about the ACA. Whatever your human resource need is we have the years of experience to give you answers that can work for your organization.

At EinstienHR, whether it’s finding right candidate for the right job, making the most out of your human resource capital, or choosing the right benefits for your company, we have solutions for your small or medium sized business.

We can help you find the best HR answers for your company. Contact us today toll-free at 888-981-3622 (EMC2).