Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Health Care Reform Effort Passes House, Advances to Senate

Drew Thies

The House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act last Tuesday, moving forward Republican efforts to repeal and replace major parts of the Affordable Care Act. The bill now awaits Senate action.

The bill passed 217-213 after modifications and amendments were made to gain the support of some lingering Republican holdouts.

The Senate has begun their own work on health care reform efforts, assembling a group of 13 Senators to spearhead the negotiations. Members of the group contain Senate leadership, key committee heads, as well as Senators from states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

The bill may change significantly in the Senate before it returns to the House. There are specific parliamentary hurdles because the bill is passed on a budget reconciliation measure, which protects it from the Senate filibuster, but also means the content of the legislation must fall within a narrow set of guidelines. No Senate votes are currently scheduled on any health care reform legislation.

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