House to vote on Se­nate’s ACA re­peal bill, de­fund­ing Planned Par­ent­hood

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK AHEAD - —Shan­non Much­more

The House will wait un­til the new year to vote on a bill to re­peal most of the Af­ford­able Care Act and de­fund Planned Par­ent­hood.

Law­mak­ers’ last week in ses­sion in 2015 was con­sumed by mov­ing the om­nibus bud­get pack­age and the tax ex­ten­ders bill, so they de­cided to wait to take up the re­peal mea­sure that passed the Se­nate early this month. A vote is now planned for Jan. 6.

Pres­i­dent Barack Obama has promised he’ll veto the bill when­ever it ar­rives on his desk. Still it rep­re­sents the first time Repub­li­cans have got­ten a re­peal bill to the pres­i­dent’s desk af­ter many tries.

James Capretta, vis­it­ing fel­low at the Amer­i­can En­ter­prise In­sti­tute, said the most im­por­tant as­pect of the bill for con­ser­va­tives is cre­at­ing a blueprint for pass­ing a re­peal bill through the rec­on­cil­i­a­tion process, which re­quires a sim­ple ma­jor­ity vote. “The pro­ce­dural part of it is im­por­tant,” he said.

The Se­nate par­lia­men­tar­ian orig­i­nally ruled that the rec­on­cil­i­a­tion process couldn’t be used for the re­peal ef­fort ex­cept for pro­vi­sions that af­fect the bud­get. Repub­li­cans got around that by re­duc­ing the tax penal­ties for not hav­ing cov­er­age to zero in­stead of elim­i­nat­ing the ACA’s in­sur­ance man­date.

Capretta said the ac­tion al­lows Repub­li­cans to ful­fill a cam­paign prom­ise of do­ing ev­ery­thing they could to re­peal Obama’s health­care law, and demon­strates what they could ac­com­plish with a Repub­li­can pres­i­dent in the White House.

In that sit­u­a­tion, how­ever, the GOP would prob­a­bly need to of­fer a re­place­ment for the law, and there’s no con­sen­sus in the party about what that would look like. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says the party will in­tro­duce an al­ter­na­tive to the Af­ford­able Care Act next year.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says the GOP will

in­tro­duce an ACA al­ter­na­tive in 2016.

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