#CompassAdvocates Alert! All advocates should continue to call your Senators today and let your voice be heard!
July 25, 2017
Your Weekly Source for Health Center Policy Updates
Senate Moves Ahead to Health Debate, Endgame Unclear
Just after 3pm on Tuesday, the U.S. Senate voted on the “Motion to Proceed” to debate over health reform legislation. The vote, which has been considered a key hurdle in the Congressional process of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was 50-50, with two Republican Senators (Murkowski and Collins) voting no, and with Vice President Pence stepping in to break the tie.
What will happen next is very unclear. Reports this morning indicate that Senate leaders do not believe they have the necessary votes to pass either a “repeal and delay” bill along the lines of what passed in 2015, nor a version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) that’s gone through several iterations in the Senate so far. They are rumored to be planning a vote on a “skinny” repeal package that would include three elements: repeal of the individual and employer mandates, as well as the medical device tax put in place by the ACA. Under this circumstance, this would be considered a “lowest common denominator” necessary to get the votes to pass the Senate, and key details of a final package would be left to be negotiated with the House in a conference committee.
Click here and here for good summaries of where things stand, and keep an eye on the NACHC blog for the latest developments. In the meantime, advocates should continue to weigh in with Senators, as health centers’ concerns over these proposals remain unchanged.
UPDATE: Last night, the Senate voted on a modified version of the BCRA. This did not receive the required votes to pass.
UPDATE: Today, the “repeal and delay” option was introduced. This did not receive the required amount of votes to pass.