Senate Passes Budget Reconciliation Legislation Repealing Affordable Care Act Provisions
President Obama Pledges to Veto Bill that Would Repeal Individual and Employer Mandates, Phase Out Medicaid Expansion and Exchange Subsidies
December 7, 2015 08:18 AM
On December 3, 2015, the United States Senate passed legislation that would repeal certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act – including the individual and employer mandates and the Cadillac Tax – as well as phase out the Medicaid expansion and subsidies for individuals to purchase coverage through insurance exchanges. While the House of Representatives has voted repeatedly to repeal the ACA, this is the first time the Senate has done so. The vote was largely symbolic, as President Barack Obama has vowed to veto the legislation.
The bill passed by a vote of 52 – 47 under the budget reconciliation process requiring only 51 votes for passage. No Democrat supported the legislation, and two Republicans – Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) – opposed the bill after a failed attempt to strike language from the measure that would prevent funding for Planned Parenthood.
Republicans stated that, even though President Obama will veto the bill, it will serve as a blueprint for repealing the ACA under a Republican president. By contrast, Democrats downplayed the significance of the vote as mere politics. “I hope that once this partisan bill reaches the dead end it has always been headed for, Republicans will finally drop the politics and work with us to deliver results for the families and communities we serve,” said Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the ranking Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
While the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) supports targeted reforms to the ACA such as repealing the employer mandate, NAHC supported the Medicaid expansion under the ACA, which includes specific home care provisions. In its 2015 Legislative Blueprint for Action, NAHC expressed opposition to any reductions to the federal commitment to Medicaid home and community-based care.
The House of Representatives will need to consider the changes made by the Senate before the bill is sent to President Obama, who has vowed to veto it. NAHC Report will provide updates on any developments with regards to this legislation.