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.


Reconciliation Passed by Congress, Vetoed by President

The House began the second session of the 114th Congress by sending reconciliation legislation to the President’s desk. On Wednesday, House Republicans passed the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act (H.R. 3762), which would repeal most of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Senate had expanded upon the original House-passed version of the bill before passing it in December. The House approved the legislation by a vote of 240-181. Pro-life Representative Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) was the only Democrat to vote in favor of the measure. Reps. Bob Dold (R-Ill.), Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) and John Katko (R-N.Y.) were the only Republicans to vote against it. It is the first time such a measure has reached the President since health care reform became law in 2010. President Obama vetoed the legislation on Friday. This was the eighth veto of Obama’s presidency and the sixth since Republicans gained the majority in Congress last year. While Republicans lack the two-thirds majority necessary to override the veto, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has promised to hold such a vote, which is expected later this month. The legislation was passed through the fast-track budget tool known as reconciliation, which allowed the bill to pass the Senate with a simple majority rather than the 60-vote threshold normally required to overcome a filibuster. It would have eliminated federal funding for Planned Parenthood for one year and boosted funding for community health centers. While it did not repeal all of the 2010 health care law as a result of reconciliation rules, it would have undone Medicaid expansion and eliminated federal subsidies to help purchase health insurance. These repeals would have been delayed until 2018, which Republicans have said would allow them time to implement a health care reform replacement plan. H.R. 3762 would also eliminate the individual and employer mandates, and delayed many of the law’s taxes, including the medical device tax and the “Cadillac Tax.” The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the bill would have reduced the deficit by a total of $516 billion over the next decade

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