In a first step toward repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) yesterday afternoon by a vote of 217-213.
House Republicans crafted the AHCA as a budget reconciliation bill to repeal parts of the ACA. The bill was previously debated on the House floor, but pulled before a full vote on March 24. Since that time, several amendments were added to the bill, paving the way for Republican leadership to reintroduce the bill for a successful vote.
The House passage of the AHCA is the first of several required steps before any official changes are enacted. Until this legislation is passed by the U.S. Senate and signed into law by President Trump, all existing ACA requirements remain in effect, including penalties for noncompliance.
While it’s likely the AHCA will be modified in the Senate, these are the current main impacts to the ACA:
- Repeals individual and employer mandate penalties
- Ends enhanced funding for Medicaid expansion
- Expands the individual market age rating band
- Replaces income-based subsidies with age-based tax credits
- Repeals most fees and taxes, but maintains the Cadillac Tax, which would be delayed until 2026
- Allows state waivers to:
- Define Essential Health Benefits
- Vary premiums by health status
- Increase age band ratios
- Establishes a Patient and State Stability Fund
Click here to read the American Health Care Act in its entirety.