Here is a quick update on what has happened in the Senate this week to make changes to our health care system.
- The Senate attempted to vote on an amendment that included the last version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), and $100 billion for Medicaid, which moderate Republicans wanted and a proposal from conservative Republican Senator Ted Cruz (TX), to allow bare-bones health insurance plans to be sold again. Result: Did not pass with a 43-57 vote
- The Senate then voted on an amendment to repeal the Affordable Care Act, without any replacement, but the repeal would not go into effect for two years. Result: Did not pass with a 45-55 vote
The Senate is now considering other amendments to see if they can get 50 Senators to agree on something, so that the Senate can send the bill back to the House to finalize legislation for the President to sign.
These amendments are being referred to as a “skinny repeal,” which means that they are looking at specific provisions in the ACA that they can repeal. Provisions that they are discussion include removing all taxes created by the ACA, and eliminating the employer and individual mandates.
The Congressional Budget Office has said that the skinny repeal would cause premiums to increase by 20% and 16 million more people would be uninsured, almost immediately. Experts say that the skinny repeal would destabilize the individual insurance market.
There will continue to be votes throughout the week, so stay tuned and continue to contact your elected officials.