Amended ACA repeal legislation headed for critical vote in the U.S. House of Representatives

On March 20, 2017, the leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives released amendments to the proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA), which would repeal many provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The new amendments to AHCA would allow states to impose work-related activity requirements on specified categories of adult Medicaid recipients as a condition of eligibility. The work-related activity requirements would not apply to the aged, disabled, pregnant women, and certain other Medicaid eligibility groups; and would incorporate broad definitions of work-related activities and exemptions aligned with longstanding TANF requirements. An enhanced Medicaid administrative matching rate (a five percentage point increase on top of the usual 50 percent rate) would be available for Medicaid administrative expenditures necessary to implement the work-related activity requirements. [More]

House Committees move forward on ACA repeal

The House took a major step in advancing action on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with the filing of the American Health Care Act. The bill, which was filed in the House of Representatives on March 6, 2017, is a compilation of budget reconciliation packages from the House Ways & Means Committee and the House Energy & Commerce Committee, in follow-up to the budget resolution adopted in January. [More]

Transitional health plans to continue through 2018

In November of 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced the concept of “grandmothered plans,” coverage in place prior to 2014 that would have been prohibited as of 2014 as a result of changes under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). CMS issued guidance permitting those plans to be renewed for existing policyholders if permitted by states. Specifically, such plans are not considered to be out of compliance with ACA provisions related to... [More]

Proposed ACA repeal legislation would increase persons without health coverage

On March 13, 2017, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released estimates on the impact of the proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA). The CBO indicates that AHCA would increase the number of persons without health coverage by 24 million persons in 2026: 52 million persons without coverage in 2026, as compared to 28 million persons in 2026 under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). [More]

Proposed ACA repeal legislation would impose new restrictions on state Medicaid programs

On March 6, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives released its initial draft legislation to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The initial draft legislation would impose significant new restrictions on state Medicaid programs. The legislation would impose annual per capita caps on federal financial participation (FFP) in state Medicaid expenditures beginning with the federal fiscal year (FFY) 2020 (October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020). The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would impose separate per capita caps for six Medicaid eligibility categories: the aged, blind, disabled, children, Medicaid expansion adults, and non-expansion adults.
For FFY 2020, CMS would... [More]

CMS proposes rules to stabilize health insurance markets

On February 15, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued draft proposed regulations intended to stabilize the individual and small group health insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The proposed rules would shorten the open enrollment period for 2018, amend standards on special enrollment periods, increase pre-enrollment verification of eligibility on the HealthCare.gov website, allow health insurance issuers to apply consumers’ payments to past unpaid debts for coverage, increase allowable variations in the actuarial value (AV) calculations, offer more flexibility in substantiating provider network adequacy, and facilitate insurers’ compliance with essential community provider (ECP) standards. [More]

The Obamacare Replacement Act

Senator Rand Paul introduced the Obamacare Replacement Act on January 25th, which would repeal much of Title 1 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including:

• Most consumer protections (except as outlined below)
• Rating restrictions
• Rate review requirements
• Essential Health Benefits
• Medical loss ratio requirements
• Individual and employer coverage mandates [More]

Patient Freedom Act of 2017

On January 23rd, Senators Bill Cassidy and Susan Collins introduced the Patient Freedom Act of 2017 to largely repeal and replace Title 1 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which includes insurance reforms. Certain ACA provisions would remain, including changes to the Medicaid program (e.g., Medicaid expansion) and Medicare and ACA revenue provisions. [More]

Administrative Action

Immediately upon entering office, President Trump signed an Executive Order on January 20th entitled “Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal” stating his commitment to repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and directing administration officials to avail themselves of existing authority to provide flexibility in administration of the ACA. While the Executive Order provided no new authority and made no policy changes itself, it did provide examples of flexibility that should be exercised. [More]

Where is “Prevention” in the ACA Replacement Debate?

The main goal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was to extend insurance coverage to millions of Americans left out of the health insurance markets, such as low-income parents ineligible for Medicaid or individuals unable to access employer-sponsored coverage. Rightfully, the terms of the ACA “Replacement” debate have been framed around alternative ways for meeting this goal, with most replacement plans distinguished and measured by the various mechanisms they propose to substitute for the insurance exchanges and Medicaid expansion measures used by the ACA to improve Americans’ access to health care. [More]