The U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed the American Health Care Act (“AHCA”) on Thursday, May 4 by a 217-213 vote. The bill, which has been amended several times since initially introduced by House Republicans in March, is intended to repeal and replace key portions of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).
The final House bill combines the original AHCA proposal with the subsequent amendments. Among other things, the final House bill would:
The AHCA, as passed by the House, would not change any of the following:
The bill now moves on to the Senate, where its future is far from certain. Senate Republicans can only afford to lose two Republican votes in order to pass the legislation and several Senate Republicans have been critical of certain aspects of the bill. Further, because the AHCA is a reconciliation bill, only measures that have significant impact on the federal budget will be able to pass without any Democratic support, per the Senate’s parliamentary rules. Some have questioned whether all of the provisions in the House bill have the required fiscal impact to pass the Senate by reconciliation.
If the Senate ultimately passes a different version of the bill, which appears more than likely at this point, the bill will then go to a conference committee where the two chambers will attempt to negotiate a final bill.
Clearly, the AHCA still has a long way to go before it becomes law. We will continue to monitor the bill as it moves through the Senate and will alert you of developments as they occur.
Good news! You may be eligible for a subsidy through Covered California, the state of California's Health Benefit Exchange. Navigating Covered California can be tricky and time-consuming, and we're here to help if you need it.
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