On May 4, 2017, the United States (U.S.) House of Representatives passed a budget resolution, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) (H.R. 1628), as amended. AHCA passed on a party line vote, 217-213. The AHCA is intended to deliver on the Republican pledge to “repeal and replace” the ACA.
Last minute amendments added funding for states to implement high-risk pools or other similar programs along with waivers of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). AHCA allows states to waive ACA community rating protections that ensure consumers do not pay higher premiums based on health status, ACA limits on how much more older individuals must pay and the ACA essential health benefits requirement.
The version of AHCA passed by the House has not been scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) but an earlier CBO analysis found that AHCA would result in more than 24 million Americans losing health coverage. The provisions CBO determined contributed to the loss of coverage – reductions in Medicaid funding and elimination of the penalties for individuals and employers who don’t purchase or provide health coverage – remain in the bill.
The AHCA now goes to the U.S. Senate where it will most likely undergo significant changes. See the ITUP summary of AHCA here. A new CBO analysis is expected next week.