U.S. Senate Tables Vote on ACA Repeal Due to Lack of Votes
Posted on September 28, 2017
A last-ditch effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was officially tabled Sept. 26 by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The bill, known as the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal, failed to garner the support necessary for passage under the rules of reconciliation, which expire Sept. 30. Under reconciliation, only 51 votes were necessary for passage in the Senate, compared to 60 votes under normal voting procedures.
In a statement about the decision, MHA CEO Brian Peters said he was relieved that the bill failed to garner the support necessary to hold a vote, but he also reiterated the MHA’s willingness to work with elected officials on a thoughtful, responsible approach to fixing the ACA.
A study by healthcare consulting firm Avalere estimated that Michigan would have lost nearly $8 billion in federal funding between 2020 and 2026 under the measure, which would have led to the death of the Healthy Michigan Plan and impacted coverage for at least 1 million Michigan residents. By the time the proposal was fully in effect, Michigan would have lost an estimated $140 billion, which is nearly three times the size of Michigan’s total fiscal year 2018 budget.
In a news conference held at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit Sept. 22, Peters joined U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, other healthcare leaders and patients in opposition to the effort.
“The latest Republican proposal is the most harmful and irresponsible yet for Michigan families,” said Stabenow. “I am focused on lowering the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs and making sure critical funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program and community health centers is extended before they expire on Sept. 30. Instead of rushing to pass a bill that dramatically raises costs and takes away healthcare from tens of millions of Americans, Congress should be taking action so that children and families have the affordable healthcare they need.”
“If this bill passes, Michiganders will be forced to pay more money for less care. Costs for older Americans will skyrocket and insurance companies will once again be free to discriminate against individuals with preexisting conditions,” said Sen. Peters. “I urge my Republican colleagues to listen to the experts and families here in Michigan and start working in a bipartisan manner to lower costs and improve care.”
While the issue is tabled for now, the MHA full expects the debate over how to repeal and replace the ACA to continue. For the latest updates, visit the MHA’s ACA Repeal & Replace webpage. Members with questions should contact Laura Appel at the MHA.
Photo Caption: MHA CEO Brian Peters addresses reporters during a news conference hosted by Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters to discuss opposition to the latest efforts in Washington to repeal and replace the ACA.
Posted in: Top Issues - Healthcare