Healthcare Update – What We Know Now
Posted July 27, 2017 Autism Society
It’s been a whirlwind few days on the healthcare front. While the situation remains fluid, there are a few items we can report out at this time. Since approving a motion to proceed earlier this week, the Senate has voted down two major proposals. One proposal to adopt the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the Senate’s answer to the House-approved legislation, was rejected by 43-57. The second plan, Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act, which would repeal the Affordable Care Act following a two-year delay, with no immediate replacement plan, fell 45-55. A series of amendments designed to protect Medicaid beneficiaries and one to eliminate provisions negatively impacting individuals with disabilities also failed.
Today, Senators will continue with remaining time devoted to debate and eventually transition to what’s commonly known as “Vote-a-rama”, a period where countless amendments are offered and voted up or down, without debate. At the conclusion, the final bill will receive consideration. The vote could take place anytime between tonight and tomorrow. We are hearing the final bill could ultimately reflect a scaled-down repeal of the Affordable Care Act (the “skinny repeal”), and would eliminate the individual mandate, the employer mandate, and the medical devices tax. The plan calls for $220 billion in Medicaid cuts and causes 16 million people to lose coverage, according to CBO estimates. Everything is subject to change, but that is where we are today.
We must continue the momentum. Advocate action is needed now more than ever — this could be our last chance save healthcare as we know it! We need each person to flood Senate office phones, emails, and social media before 8:00 p.m. EDT tonight and tell your friends to do the same. We especially need advocates in Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, Maine, Nevada, Ohio, and West Virginia to take action! This final push is critical to ensuring Medicaid is protected for all who rely on the program to meet basic needs, essential health benefits are preserved, and people with pre-existing conditions maintain protections provided under the existing system. Contact your senators today and URGE them to reject any attempts to cap or cut Medicaid or cause people to lose access to vital care.