Discussion of the Affordable Care Act often incites fear, confusion, and anger in people both for and against its passage.
With Republicans now in control of the Presidency, Senate, and House of Representatives, they have the opportunity to fulfill their repeated promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). They banded together to pass repeal alone early this year (albeit knowing it would get vetoed by the president), but no detailed consensus replacement plan has emerged.
There has been no shortage of ACA replacement plans put forward by think tanks and members of Congress, including Speaker Paul Ryan’s Better Way, HHS Secretary nominee Tom Price’s Empowering Patients First Act, and the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment Act (P-CARE) led by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, House Energy & Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, and Senator Richard Burr, but many are still in outline form or lack critical details and none has been voted on or scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
Despite the lack of consensus on what a replacement plan looks like, Republicans are signaling that they plan to use the budget reconciliation process (which only requires a simple majority in the Senate rather than the 60 votes needed to bypass a filibuster) to pass a law immediately that repeals the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, premium tax credits, cost-sharing assistance, and the taxes that helped pay for it (leaving in place the law’s insurance market and Medicare reforms) as of a date certain in the future (likely January 1, 2020). The delayed effective date is supposed to give lawmakers time to craft a replacement without disrupting coverage in the interim.
In every community across the country, the Affordable Care Act is working to increase access to affordable, quality health care.
Repeal and delay would cause chaos in the individual insurance market.