Confusion over health insurance continues to reign supreme in Washington. On Tuesday, July 18th, senate republicans announced that their bid to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act did not have the votes necessary to pass. It appears that GOP senators can't agree the on the details of a replacement for the groundbreaking and controversial ACA. This means that senate republicans, led by Mitch McConnell will likely try to pass a bill that repeals the ACA with no replacement.
Repealing without a replacement seems both dangerous and unlikely to happen. This unlikelihood stems from the GOP’s need to at least partially appease democrats and avoid a filibuster. To repeal the bill, a technique called reconciliation is being used. Reconciliation lessens the votes needed to pass legislation from sixty to fifty, but comes with the cost of requiring certain aspects of the ACA to be retained. Repealing in this way would allow the government to undo financial aspects like taxes and subsidies, but regulations such as protection for people with preexisting conditions will stand.
There may not be much support for this solution from both parties because insurance analysts and experts agree that it would radically increase premiums and leave millions of Americans uninsured and in limbo. It is a relief for American consumers to know that repealing the ACA now and working for a replacement later is unlikely to happen. One can only wonder what the congress will try next, and wonder what it will mean for the millions of Americans who rely on the benefits provided by the ACA.
We will keep you posted for any further developments.
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