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House Passes Revised Health Care Bill
Legislation heads to U.S. Senate
Posted Date: 5/4/2017

House Passes Revised Health Care Bill

Thank you to Marty Omoto, CDCAN, for providing this update.

SACRAMENTO, CA [BY MARTY OMOTO, CDCAN LAST UPDATED 05/04/2017 11:17 AM] – The US House of Representatives today narrowly passed the Republican authored revised health care bill, HR 1628, officially titled the “American Health Care Act”, that proposes to repeal and replace many significant parts of the landmark 2010 “Affordable Care Act” also known as “Obamacare”, including proposing sweeping changes to Medicaid funding that would impact people, including seniors and people with disabilities (including developmental), in every state if enacted.

The initial vote was 217 votes and 213 against (including 20 Republicans and all Democrats)

None of the Democrats in the House supported the revised health care bill.

But the fate of the legislation faces a very uncertain future as it moves to the US Senate, where Senate Republicans only control that chamber by 52 to 48 (2 of those senators are independents who caucus with Democrats). Major changes to the bill as passed by the House are expected there, should the bill even emerge from the US Senate in the coming months. Several US Senate Republicans have expressed outright opposition to the revised health care bill – or have raised major concerns.

Any changes to the bill made in the US Senate would have to be also approved by the House, setting off another chain reaction of uncertainty.

Revised bill proposes sweeping changes to Obamacare including Medicaid funding
The revised bill, among other things, calls for making major changes to federal requirements regarding pre-existing conditions; allows health insurance plans to charge higher premiums to seniors and reduce premiums for younger people; end mandates that require health insurance; and roll back Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.

Most of the funding that pays for supports and services and programs that serve children and adults with disabilities – including those with developmental disabilities who who are eligible for regional center funded services – people with mental health needs, the blind, and seniors, is matched by federal Medicaid dollars – called “Medi-Cal” in California. All of the Medi-Cal health benefits that nearly 14 million Californians receive is also matched by federal Medicaid dollars.

Democrats and even some US Senate Republicans, have strongly criticized House Republicans, who they say rushed the revised bill for a floor vote without waiting at least for the review by the Congressional Budget Office that would provide an analysis of what the revised legislation would likely cost – and its likely impact on people. That analysis is not expected for another week or longer. House Republicans supporting the revised legislation said that the original bill was reviewed by the Congressional Budget Office and that the amendments made that original bill better. They said further review of the revised bill would occur as it moves over to the US Senate.