On Thursday afternoon, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act, the GOP’s bill designed to repeal the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). The bill narrowly passed by a vote of 217 to 213, with no Democratic support and 20 Republicans voting against it.
The bill, if passed by the Senate in its current form, would repeal and replace large portions of the ACA, including eliminating the requirement that people have healthcare coverage or face a tax penalty. It also does away with the mandate that certain employers provide health insurance to their workers. In addition, the bill repeals many of the law’s taxes, increases the limit for tax-excluded health savings accounts, significantly overhauls Medicaid, and allows States to obtain waivers for pre-existing condition exclusion and essential health benefits requirements under the ACA. The bill also widens the age-band, allowing insurance companies to charge more for older enrollees. The bill does, however, keep some of the more popular aspects of the ACA (e.g., free coverage of preventative care and dependent coverage until age 26).
The bill next moves to the Senate where it will likely undergo several changes before heading to a final vote. Companies should continue to comply with the ACA, as it remains the law.