Vote for New American Health Care Act Canceled – What’s Next?

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There’s a lot of uncertainty revolving around the future of healthcare and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

You may have heard about the proposed replacement for ACA: The American Health Care Act (AHCA). And if you’re like us, you probably have a few questions about what the AHCA is, what happened with the vote, and where we go from here.

What is the American Health Care Act (AHCA)?

There aren’t a lot of details out there, but here’s what we know:

Key elements of the AHCA included:

  • Elimination of the Individual and employer mandates and penalties 1
  • Expanded limits on health-care savings accounts 1
  • Repeal of Medicaid expansion 1
  • Repeal of Obamacare taxes 1
  • New tax credits would replace exchange subsidies driven by age vs. income 1

A nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report found that if the AHCA was implemented:

  • It would reduce the deficit by $150 billion over a decade 2
  • The uninsured rates would include 24 million fewer people having healthcare coverage in 2026 than today 2
  • Premiums would rise initially, but were projected by 2026 to be 10 percent less than they are today 2

What happened with the vote?

On Thursday, March 23, President Trump issued an ultimatum to House conservatives: either vote for AHCA or Trump will leave the ACA in place. 2 Trump warned that if the vote failed, he would move on to other priorities, such as tax reform, and ACA would stay the “law of the land.” 3

The vote was scheduled for Friday, March 24, but the AHCA vote was canceled due to the growing opposition and lack of support. 4 Both conservatives and moderates voted against the bill. 4

Some conservatives want a more complete repeal of ACA, but moderates are concerned that AHCA (and possibility other attempts at repealing ACA) would leave 24 million more Americans without health insurance by 2026. 4

There is currently no news of plans to try again with either updating ACHA or creating a new proposal, but House Speaker Paul Ryan said they need some time to regroup and consider other options. However, lawmakers are ready to move on to other issues, and so is Trump. 4

What’s next?

As House Speaker Paul Ryan pointed out, “Obamacare is the law of the land. It’s going to remain the law of the land until it’s replaced. We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.” 4 And we don’t know how long the “foreseeable future” might be.

There is a chance that the conservatives will not propose another repeal or replacement of ACA. Trump himself has said that the safest bet for Republicans would be to do nothing and let ACA collapse on itself instead of trying to come up with a replacement. 3

As more information becomes available, we will share the information with you and keep you up-to-date.

1 What will become of the ACA? The few details we really have. Healthcare Exchange.

2 Hold the Vote. Healthcare Exchange.

3 Trump delivers ultimatum to GOP on ObamaCare repeal. The Hill.

4 Healthcare vote canceled as House GOP balks at bill. Employee Benefits Provider.

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