The U.S. House and Senate have taken the first step toward repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), approving a budget blueprint for fiscal year 2017 that sets up repeal of the health law through the budget reconciliation process.
The resolution requires the Senate Finance, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committees; and the House Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce Committees to draft the actual repeal legislation. Three members of Washington’s congressional delegation will be involved in this process: Sen. Cantwell (Finance), Rep. Dave Reichert (Ways and Means) and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Energy and Commerce). WSHA has met with the three leaders to express our strong support for preserving coverage for the 700,000 Washingtonians receiving insurance through the ACA.
On replacing the ACA, there is a growing debate among Republicans about whether to include replacement measures in the repeal bill. Reconciliation is expected to start in the House committees the first week of February. Republican leaders this week said privately they don’t expect final action until March. (John Flink, WSHA federal lobbyist)