By Ben Clevenger, Client Services Representative, Michigan Planners
Since President Trump took office this past January, various versions of healthcare bills, intended to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, have yet to take off. Most recently, the Senate on July 28 rejected the Health Care Freedom Act by a slim 49 - 51 vote.
The Health Care Freedom Act was a revised version of a different bill, the American Health Care Act, which originated in May by the House.
Healthcare bills have been introduced, revised, and reintroduced since early May.
- May 4: House voted 217 - 213 to pass the American Health Care Act, intended to repeal and replace Obamacare.
- July 13: Senate Republicans responded by introducing its healthcare bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).
- July 18: BCRA abandoned due to a lack of votes.
- July 25: Senate voted 50 - 50 to open up the American Health Care Act.
The Health Care Freedom Act was the most final amendment to the American Health Care Act, which was introduced during a 20-hour debate. Additionally, the Senate on July 26 rejected a proposal to repeal major parts of the Affordable Care Act without providing a replacement.
As it stands right now, this most recent defeat to introduce a new healthcare bill may have put the brakes on the Republicans’ efforts to repeal and replace the ACA; however, time will tell.
Where do we go from here? Employers are encouraged to conduct business as usual – maintain compliance with the current healthcare bill, avoid unnecessary speculating, and seek consultation from their benefits consultants.