Business as Usual: Republicans Cancel Vote to Repeal Parts of ACA

This afternoon the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives cancelled a vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which would have repealed significant portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The vote was cancelled because there were not enough votes to pass the bill.

This action means that the ACA remains the law of the land for the foreseeable future. President Trump said that a plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare would not come up again in the near future.

The AHCA failed to gain enough Republican support for passage because ultraconservatives felt it created a new entitlement program by replacing the ACA’s subsidies with different, scaled down subsidies. It also failed to gain support from moderate Republicans who were concerned that millions of people would lose coverage. No Democrats supported the AHCA.

The failure to pass the AHCA means that nothing changes for the moment. The Trump Administration is likely to make regulatory changes and some sub-regulatory guidance is also possible, but major changes seem to be off the table for now.

Employer-sponsored group health plans will not be affected for the moment. It remains to be seen whether insurance companies will remain in the individual health insurance market and, if so, whether rates will increase significantly.

About John Garner

John Garner has over thirty five years of experience in employee benefits. He specializes in compliance, health care reform, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). He helps clients with life, health, and disability benefits, cost containment, flexible benefits, and claim consulting.

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