Please Remember This Number – 22 Million

22 million – that’s how many Americans would lose their health insurance, according to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, if the reconciliation legislation approved by the U.S. House of Representative yesterday by a 240-181 vote were to become law.

The U.S. Senate approved the same bill in December and the House adopted it yesterday with no changes, so it is heading to the White House where President Obama is certain to veto the measure. The likelihood that House or Senate Republican leaders could summon the needed votes to override that veto is zero.

Recon 2016It’s easy to dive into the political games involved in this legislation because there are so many. Doing so, though, ignores our responsibility to recognize what this Congress has done – put itself on record to cancel health insurance for tens of millions of Americans and offer nothing, zero, to mitigate the harm to mostly low and lower middle income families.

Here are the bill’s key elements:

  • Eliminate the ACA Medicaid expansion
  • Eliminate the ACA’s premium and cost sharing subsidies to help lower middle income Americans buy private health insurance
  • Repeal the ACA’s individual mandate which helps to ensure a healthy risk pool of enrollees to keep premiums affordable
  • Cancel all federal funds to Planned Parenthood

Continue reading “Please Remember This Number – 22 Million”

Will 61 Be the Charm? The New Republican Effort to Gut the ACA

[Note: This post was first published on the Health Affairs Blog.]

For the 61st time since 2011, Congressional Republicans are moving legislation to undermine and dismantle key elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This time, though, will be different.

First, this will be the first time Republicans will use the budget process known as “reconciliation” to advance repeal. Using a budget reconciliation bill prevents Democrats from filibustering the legislation in the Senate, meaning only 51 votes are needed for passage in expedited debate.shampoo

Second, this will be the first time that the House and Senate both pass similar legislation to damage the law. As a result, this will be the first time that anti-ACA legislation will reach President Barack Obama’s desk. The President’s veto of this measure is guaranteed, as are the needed votes in the House and Senate to sustain his veto. So this will be another exercise in ObamaCare-Kabuki Theater with some new twists.

What’s In The Reconciliation Package?

The key elements in the legislation, developed by three House Committees (Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, Education and the Workforce) including: Continue reading “Will 61 Be the Charm? The New Republican Effort to Gut the ACA”