ACA Repeal and Replace Update

Lauren Pollow in Legislative

AHCA has been actively working to communicate concerns with respect to the current Repeal and Replace bill in the Senate, instead pushing for a collaborative and transparent approach with policymakers. While the defeat of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA) offers a reprieve for the long-term care sector, AHCA cautions there will be additional proposals that must be examined carefully. AHCA will continue to keep us apprised and has provided the following summary regarding the status of the BCRA:

The last 24 hours in Washington, D.C. have continued this year's trend of unpredictability on Capitol Hill. Late last night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pulled the proposed bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) after GOP Senators Jerry Moran (Kansas) and Mike Lee (Utah) announced they would not support it, joining Senators Susan Collins (Maine) and Rand Paul (Kentucky). The announcement from Lee and Moran means the Senate is short of the necessary 50 votes to pass the procedural vote that would have brought the bill to the Senate floor. 

This legislation posed one of the biggest threats to Medicaid we've ever faced. The updated bill, which was released just last week, would have taken significant funding away from those whom Medicaid is designed to protect - including millions who depend on long term care every day.

Together, we have been a big part of this success. You have done so much over the past months to make sure our voice is heard. This year, more than 115,000 people have contacted their member of Congress through our grassroots outreach system, asking them to preserve Medicaid funding for America's seniors. Amazingly, 23,000 of those contacts came in the last 30 days alone.  

This is spectacular. You have joined together to speak on behalf of and protect those who rely on Medicaid to access the quality care they need. You came through loud and clear and have truly made an impact. Thank you for your tremendous efforts and for everything you do.

Next Steps 

Although the past day has been good, we can't breathe easy quite yet. The risk to Medicaid has dropped, but things continue to change very quickly. We must continue to be vigilant and active. There are still other vehicles in which Medicaid reform could be addressed. 

Possibly as early as later this week or early next, Senator McConnell has indicated he will bring the House version of the health care bill to the Senate floor with the intent to amend it as the 2015 ACA repeal bill. Already, three Republican senators - Collins, Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia), and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) - have all said they would oppose any vote to proceed with an immediate repeal of the law, threatening its passage. Again, the risk to Medicaid is low, but it still exists.

What You Can Do  

It is important to continue our outreach on Capitol Hill and educate House and Senate Republicans. You can register for the AHCA/NCAL online grassroots Care Advocacy resource to easily locate and contact your member of Congress. Use the state-specific talking points developed by the Association to explain the devastating impacts significant Medicaid cuts would have on our profession and those for whom we care.   

We will keep you apprised of new developments as things continue to change.

I am truly in awe of your commitment and passion. It is a pleasure to work with each of you and see what we can accomplish together. Thank you, again, for your unwavering support and efforts every single day. 

Sincerely,

Mark Parkinson
President and CEO

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACT:

Lauren Pollow
Director, Government Affairs
518-462-4800 x25