News | Radiology Business | July 26, 2017

Senate Opens Debate on Better Care Reconciliation Act

First full Obamacare repeal-and-replace legislation voted down following opening of debate; multiple versions expected to be unveiled in quick succession

Senate Opens Debate on Better Care Reconciliation Act

July 26, 2017 — The U.S. Senate voted Monday, with a tiebreaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence, to begin debate on the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the legislation drafted by Senate Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell immediately called a vote on the first version of the bill, which was defeated 57-43.

Since the 115th Congress began session in January, Republicans in the House and Senate have made repealing the ACA, also known as Obamacare, a top priority. The House passed its version of a repeal-and-replace bill, called the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in April after lengthy debate and the withdrawal of the first version by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). Both chambers have seen progress stalled by extensive disagreements between moderates and the most conservative members of the Republican party.

The version of the BCRA defeated on Tuesday was designed to appease the moderate Republican faction by adding back Obamacare taxes removed from prior iterations, including the net investment income tax, the additional Medicare Health Insurance Tax and a tax on high-earning health insurance executives. The bill included an amendment, introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), that would have allowed insurance providers to sell stripped-down plans that did not comply with ACA requirements as long as they offer at least one policy that does. The final major piece was a $70 billion allotment for states to help consumers with paying out-of-pocket healthcare costs in the form of cost-sharing or health savings accounts.

Intact from the first version of the Senate bill was the gradual rollback of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. Under McConnell’s vision, Medicaid would be changed from an open-ended entitlement program to a fixed amount of money granted to states based on enrollment or as a block grant. The BCRA would reduce the annual growth rate of those funds beginning in 2020.

With the failure of the full repeal-and-replace legislation, Republican leadership may eventually introduce a “skinny” version that only repeals a few ACA requirements to try to ensure passage. These would include the individual and employer insurance mandates, the medical device tax and the public health fund, according to the Washington Post.

Read about the "Affordable Care Act "Skinny Repeal" Defeated in Senate," news from July 28, 2017.

For more information: www.senate.gov

Related Content

The Current Direction of Healthcare Reform Explained by CMS Administrator Seema Verma
News | Radiology Business | June 11, 2019
June 11, 2019 — Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma addressed the American Med
ASTRO Applauds New Prior Authorization Legislation
News | Radiation Therapy | June 07, 2019
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) released a statement applauding Congress’s introduction of...
Applications Open for ASRT Foundation and Canon Medical's Safety FiRsT Grant Program
News | Radiation Dose Management | May 31, 2019
The ASRT Foundation and Canon Medical Systems are now accepting applications for the 2019 Safety FiRsT grant program,...

Photo courtesy of Philips Healthcare

Feature | Radiology Business | May 31, 2019 | By Arjen Radder
Change is a consistent theme in our world today, no matter where you look.
Life Image and Bialogics Analytics Partner to Deliver Imaging Business Intelligence
News | Analytics Software | May 21, 2019
Life Image and business intelligence analytics provider Bialogics Analytics have formed a strategic partnership that...
3 Recommendations to Better Understand HIPAA Compliance
Feature | Information Technology | May 17, 2019 | Carol Amick
According to the U.S.
ITN reached 90,000 unique Facebook users with content during the week of the visit to Central DuPage Hospital

ITN reached 90,000 unique Facebook users with content during the week of the visit to Central DuPage Hospital.

News | Radiology Business | May 10, 2019
Imaging Technology News (ITN) earned an Honorable Mention at the 2019 National Azbee Awards of Excellence in the Cross-...
An illustration of radiology department analytics data showing GE Healthcare's business analytics software.
Feature | Radiology Business | May 03, 2019 | April Wilson
According to IBM, the world creates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily.