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Policy

 

The Senate’s ongoing debate of plans to repeal and/or replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has resulted in two separate Republicans plans being voted down. One hope for the party is to pass a so-called “skinny repeal” which eliminates the individual and employer mandates along with a medical device tax, but that approach would have an immediate impact on insurance coverage and premiums.

As part of the Senate’s flurry of action on proposals to repeal and/or replace the Affordable Care Act, Republicans brought up the same bill to get rid much of the law, without a replacement ready, which had passed through Congress in 2015. This time, it failed, with seven Republicans and all Democrats voting against it.

Republicans in the U.S. Senate voted to open debate on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with 50 senators voting in favor of what’s called a motion to proceed, or MTP, opening the door to the chamber offering numerous amendments to craft some sort of repeal bill. The first option put forward—the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA)—failed to pass as expected.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released reports on two Republican proposals regarding the Affordable Care Act: One which would repeal much of the law while delaying some of those effects for two years and another which replaces it with the Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).

Enrollment in the individual market would increase while premiums would decrease under Sen. Ted Cruz’s, R-Texas, controversial “Consumer Freedom” amendment, according to an HHS analysis obtained by the Washington Examiner.

 

Recent Headlines

Q+A: AMGA says MACRA proposed rule sends wrong message on value-based care

Groups representing physicians, hospitals, internists and health IT were quick to praise the proposed rule for the second year of the new payment tracks under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). The American Medical Group Association, however, has a decidedly different take.

Senate’s version of ACA repeal released

The legislation takes many provisions from the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA) under a new name: the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).

Proposed MACRA changes praised in initial industry reaction

The American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Hospital Association (AHA) appear pleased with the proposed rule for the second year of the Quality Payment Program (QPP), with some groups reserving judgment until they have time to review the 1,058-page regulation.

CMS proposes raising low-volume exemption, adding virtual groups in MACRA’s second year

The proposed rule for the second year of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act’s (MACRA) Quality Payment Program (QPP) has been released by CMS, with its stated goal to “simplify the program, especially for small, independent, and rural practices, while ensuring fiscal sustainability and high-quality care.”

The timeline leading up to the Senate’s ACA repeal vote

Senate Republican leaders appear to be sticking to their goal of holding a vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), their vehicle for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, by the end of June, despite resistance from both Democrats and the healthcare industry on legislation that has yet to be released.

Nevada ‘Medicaid for all’ bill vetoed

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has vetoed legislation to create a Medicaid buy-in option in the state.

AMA 2017: Delegates take aim at Trump with new policies

The American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a wide range of new policies at its annual meeting of delegates in Chicago, ranging from more practice-oriented concerns to politically-charged resolutions related to the positions of President Donald Trump.

Democrats’ bill would make reinsurance permanent for ACA exchanges

Legislation to establish a permanent reinsurance program for the Affordable Care Act marketplace has been introduced by five Democratic senators.

AHA to CMS: Suspend hospital star ratings, eCQM reporting

In a letter to CMS, the American Hospital Association (AHA) recommended the agency’s deregulation efforts begin with suspending the hospital star ratings, which it called “inaccurate and misleading.”

Trump calls House’s ACA repeal bill ‘mean’

President Donald Trump reportedly told Republican senators the House-passed version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is “mean” and asked for the Senate version to be “more generous,” according to congressional sources who spoke to the Associated Press.

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