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The Dust Settles

On Thursday, March 23, Republican Leadership pulled the American Health Care Act (AHCA) from being considered by the House of Representatives, citing that they did not have the support of the Republican Caucus, specifically, the influential Freedom Caucus who continued to withhold their support even after numerous concessions had been granted.

The bill faced significant challenges and received no support from Democratic lawmakers. The Congressional Budget Office announced the bill would reduce the deficit by $337 billion over the next 10 years due to the changes the bill made to health insurance subsidies and Medicaid support provided to States. Under the ACA, individuals and families can secure a health care subsidy to help pay for the costs of their insurance, however, under the AHCA that would transition from a subsidy to a tax credit that would encourage the purchase of health insurance. The ACA expanded Medicaid eligibility and provided significant grants and dollars to States that elected to expand their state Medicaid program, the AHCA would phase out this support and change eligibility requirements. These changes would put significant budgetary pressure on States who had accepted the expansion.

This bill had a lot of challenges and if it had passed the House would have faced significant rewrite in the Senate and potentially would have never been able to clear the House in its rewritten form. That being said, millions of Americans and 28 million self-employed that look to secure health insurance via the exchanges face continued market instability and increasing premium prices, known of which were addressed in the AHCA.

The NASE continues to pro-actively and thoughtfully work towards putting forth solutions that not only ensure a robust health insurance marketplace, but allows for our members to choose the plan that best suits their lives. There are several key initiatives we are currently championing, including: stabilizing the health insurance marketplace so that consumers have options, improve access to health insurance, and in general, ensure that we continue to reform our health insurance market so that all Americans have access to great health care.

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