House Committee Releases Legislation to Repeal and Replace the Affordable Care Act

Washington, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, where Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) serves as the only Florida Republican, released the text of their legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act through a budget process known as reconciliation. Please click here to read the full text, and here to read a section-by-section summary.

Upon the release of the legislation, Bilirakis said:

“House Republicans are keeping a critical promise to the American people by repealing and replacing the unsustainable Affordable Care Act. Most importantly, we’re delivering these reforms in an open and transparent manner.

“After holding three town halls across my district plus a roundtable meeting all in recent weeks, listening to hundreds of constituents for more than a combined eight hours, I was proud to use their input and ideas in this legislation. That’s why I fought to maintain some of the ACA’s more popular provisions, like protecting patients with pre-existing conditions, eliminating lifetime caps on care, and allowing young adults to stay on their parent’s insurance until age 26. With this legislation, we will lower costs, increase options, and empower patients to make their own health care choices in a system that works for all.”

The Committee has scheduled a markup of this legislation on Wednesday, March 8 at 10:30am.

Background:

  • Last summer, House Republicans released the Better Way agenda, our vision for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act which served as the blueprint for this legislation.
  • On January 13, 2017, the House passed a budget resolution, the first step to the repeal and replace plan. The budget resolution is a process that allows legislation to be passed with a simple majority in the Senate and quickly signed into law. It also outlined instructions for the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Ways and Means Committee to draft legislation.

Bill Highlights:

  • Safety net funding for Florida and other states that did not expand Medicaid, meaning additional funding will be available for health care providers in Florida to reimburse for uncompensated care.
  • Implements a Patient and State Stability Fund to help low-income patients afford health care and repair state markets damaged by the ACA.
  • Strengthens Medicaid for the future by refocusing limited resources to the patients most in need. The bill proposes a per-capita allotment to determine a fair level of funding for states while ensuring a viable financial future for the program.
  • Maintains popular ACA provisions such as:
    • Protecting those with pre-existing conditions from being denied access to care by insurance companies.
    • Eliminating lifetime caps on health care.
    • Allowing young adults to stay on their parent’s insurance until age 26.
    • Filling in the doughnut hole, otherwise known as the coverage gap, in Medicare Part D.
    • Prohibiting rescission, the practice of insurance companies dropping people for being sick.

Next Steps:

  • Once the Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees pass their respective repeal and replacement bills, the Budget Committee will compile them into one reconciliation package.
  • That package will then go before the Rules Committee to determine the rules for debate under which the bill will be considered on the House floor. This is a typical part of the legislative process.
  • Following passage through the Rules Committee, the reconciliation package will be voted on by the full U.S. House. This vote is expected by the end of March.
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