Last week, President Trump and Congress took the first steps to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
On January 13, 2017, the House approved a budget resolution that instructed relevant committees to come up with legislation by January 27, 2017, to repeal the ACA. All Democrats and nine Republicans voted against the measure. The Senate previously approved the same budget resolution on January 12, 2017. Using the budget process, Republicans are taking advantage of a special rule that allows fiscal measures to pass with only a simple majority vote and avoid filibuster in the Senate. The rule only applies to fiscal portions of the ACA, such as tax credits. Repeal of non-fiscal portions of the ACA and any replacement bill will require a super majority vote (i.e., 60 votes) to avoid filibuster. Republicans have a 52-seat majority in the Senate.
In one of his first actions as president, President Trump signed an executive order last Friday directing agencies to grant relief to those affected by the ACA including: consumers, insurers, hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, states and others. The order does not describe specifics, but it appears to give agencies discretion to eliminate or change their enforcement of ACA taxes and requirements.
MSEC will keep you updated as this situation develops.