Progress Report: ACA Repeal courtesy of NASL
Congress continues to work on potential repeal and/or replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and some deadlines that were set are already past. Pressure is coming from Members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservatives, who wish to use the 2015 reconciliation package that contained various polices that repeal some parts of the ACA as a base bill. This bill passed both the House and Senate in 2015, but was vetoed by President Obama. The Freedom Caucus believes that the only option should be to repeal the ACA now, and for the Senate to address the replacement policies through an amendment or via an FY2018 budget reconciliation bill. Overall, Republicans seem worried that they are losing momentum and that this is the way to jump start the process and possibly bring Democrats to the table. As fluid as this situation is, whether Medicaid expansion will be addressed in this round, as some in Congress desire, or wait until later, is just as fluid. One thing we do know is that Medicare extender policies such as the Medicare Part B Outpatient Therapy Cap will not be addressed until after the ACA debate. The good news is advocates have more time to mobilize grassroots support and to demonstrate a show of strength for repealing the cap by getting as many co-sponsors as possible on the Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act of 2017 (S. 253, H.R. 807), which would repeal the therapy cap.