Push to Repeal Health Law Fails
ACA is Law of Land (for now) as House Republicans turn attention to Tax Reform
On Friday, March 24, House Republican leaders withdrew the American Health Care Act (AHCA) from further consideration. It was a dramatic acknowledgement that they had been unable to find sufficient votes to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
"ObamaCare will remain the law of the land," House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said during a press conference shortly after the bill was pulled. "We're going to be living with ObamaCare for the foreseeable future."
All Democratic representatives were poised to vote against the AHCA, joined by most members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of the most conservative Republican lawmakers, and some Republican moderates. According to reports, supporters of the measure would have fallen about 10 votes short.
The GOP's rightwing flank had opposed the bill, dubbing it "Obamacare Lite" because it didn't go far enough in eliminating all of the ACA's insurance coverage requirements, and because they saw the AHCA's system of age-based tax credits for people purchasing nonemployer policies as a new entitlement little better than the ACA's existing income-based subsidies.
Some moderate GOP representatives felt the AHCA would leave too many Americans with no or limited health insurance.
Ryan said that House Republicans will now turn their attention to Tax Reform and other priority issues. Trump, speaking from the White House, also said that the administration's focus would turn to Tax Reform, and he suggested that the ACA would have to experience a collapse before Congress would be able to come together to pass a replacement bill, given the polarization not only between Republicans and Democrats, but within the GOP itself. Though, many industry experts still expect incremental reform of ACA following Tax Reform.
With the ACA remaining as law, employers should plan to continue complying with its wide-ranging coverage mandates and all employee tracking and reporting requirements.
SOURCE: Society for Human Resource Management
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