Senate Republicans this week said they plan to move quickly in early January to start repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), agreeing with House Republicans on a “repeal and delay” strategy under which parts of the ACA would remain in effect for several years while lawmakers devise a replacement.
GOP leaders also laid out their principles for a replacement:
- States should have primary authority over health policy.
- Patients and doctors should be “in control.”
- There should be more competition among health plans.
- There should be more flexibility for small businesses to determine benefits for employees.
Not all senators support the repeal and delay strategy, arguing instead for a “replace and then repeal” approach to minimize potential market disruption.
In related news, the AHA issued a report that finds the loss of coverage from repeal would cut hospital payments by $165.8 billion over nine years if Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payment cuts are also restored. If the ACA Medicare reductions are maintained during this same time period, hospitals will suffer additional losses of nearly $290 billion. (John Flink, WSHA Federal Lobbyist)