Here's the scoop on what's happening in Federal Policy from the NCSD policy team.
According to various sources, Senate Republicans are finalizing their American Health Care Act (AHCA) bill, with the goal of voting on it before the July recess. Rumors are that Republicans plan to submit a preliminary framework of their plan to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) this week which could allow a floor vote by the end of June.
Two of the major hurdles left are a slower phase-out of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and language that would bar people from using new refundable tax credits for private insurance plans that cover abortion. The Senate Parliamentarian has warned that provision regarding abortion coverage runs afoul of the reconciliation requirements, which requires provisions to have impact on the budget and cannot be primarily oriented toward making policy change. (As a reminder, the Senate is bringing its health care reform legislation to the full Senate under reconciliation because it is a legislative process that allows legislation to be passed with a 51 vote majority, as opposed to the Senate’s usual 60 vote requirement.) If this abortion provision is stripped out of the legislation, it is unclear if the package could pass. Senate leaders are now working on an alternative that would not have problems with the reconciliation requirements.
Please contact NCSD’s Director of Policy and Communications, Stephanie Arnold Pang, with any questions or concerns.