POLICY BRIEFINGS


Hart Health Strategies provides a comprehensive policy briefing on a weekly basis. This in-depth health policy briefing is sent out at the beginning of each week. The health policy briefing recaps the previous week and previews the week ahead. It alerts clients to upcoming congressional hearings, newly introduced bills, regulatory announcements, and implementation activity related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and other health laws.


THIS WEEK'S BRIEFING - OCTOBER 26, 2015


House Passes Reconciliation Bill


The House has approved a budget reconciliation bill by a vote of 240-189 that would partially repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and defund Planned Parenthood for the coming year. The bill would reduce the deficit by $130 billion over the next decade. Rep. Ken Buck (R-Col.), Rep. Bob Dold (R-Ill.), Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), and Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) were the only Republicans to vote against the bill, and Rep. Colin Peterson (D-Minn.) was the only Democrat to support the measure. The bill would repeal the individual and employer mandates, the “Cadillac tax” on high cost employer sponsored health plans, and the 2.3 percent medical device tax. It would also eliminate the ACA’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, and the law’s requirement for larger employers to begin automatically enrolling new full-time employees in coverage. The bill would redirect funds for Planned Parenthood to community health centers for one year. Under the Senate’s rules of reconciliation, legislation can be advanced by only a simple majority, as compared to the 60 votes usually required to overcome a filibuster. While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he would take up the bill once the House passes it, it is unclear how the bill will fare in the Senate. Three Senate conservatives, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) are on record in opposition to the bill because it does not fully repeal the ACA. Additionally, several moderate Republican members have expressed concerns about the Planned Parenthood provision. With a 54 member Republican majority, only three members can vote against the legislation to secure the 51 votes necessary for passage. The White House has said that the President will veto the package should it reach his desk.



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