Efforts to Stabilize ACA Marketplace in States Move Forward
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) provides this update on the efforts to stabilize and repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA.) As the NY Times said this week “Just when the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act appeared to be dead, a last-ditch push to obliterate the law could be nearing a showdown vote in the Senate, and a handful of Republicans insist they are closing in on the votes.”
While ACA repeal-and-replace efforts stalled in the Senate before the August recess, one lingering repeal bill (known as the Cassidy-Graham proposal) remains concerning. The proposal would have much the same damaging effects as past proposals, including deep Medicaid cuts. It would cause many millions of Americans to lose coverage, radically restructure and deeply cut Medicaid, and increase out-of-pocket costs for individual market consumers.
It is unclear if, and when the Cassidy-Graham proposal will move forward but there are time constraints. Congress can only use the current reconciliation instructions (allowing Congress to pass a bill with a simple majority in the Senate instead of 60 votes) until September 30. After that, Congress must pass new reconciliation instructions for FY 2019 before proceeding, which will delay their repeal efforts.
Meanwhile, bipartisan efforts to stabilize the ACA marketplaces in each state move forward, starting with a series of hearings that kicked off last week. Since insurers will soon set their 2018 rates, there is pressure to pass legislation by the end of September to help stabilize the marketplaces, including funding cost sharing reduction payments. However, it is unclear if Congress will meet this goal.
On July 28, 2017, the Senate voted against the new Republican healthcare plan which had become as the “skinny repeal” to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA.)