Legislative Activity

Obamacare Replacement Activity Escalates

Although the Republican retreat in Philadelphia resulted in no clear repeal and replace strategy, House and Senate Republicans will continue to move forward and hold the first committee hearings to discuss potential health care reform legislation this week. Following President Trump’s Executive Order on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which ordereda “prompt repeal” of the law, Republicans are under pressure to keep the momentum going. Committees are scheduled to hold hearings regarding the weaknesses of the ACA; the stability of the health insurance marketplace; and the future of the Medicaid program. Last week, Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the first comprehensive replacement plan titled the Patient Freedom Act. Their plan keeps provisions of the ACA in place and gives decision making power to states, which is vastly different from many of the ideas being touted by Republican leadership. This week’s House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearings will be the first opportunity for members to discuss health care reform legislation and the future of Medicaid. Other hearings on the ACA will take place in the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP); the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform; and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, January 31: The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions will hold and Executive Session titled “Committee Funding Resolution, Adoption of Committee Rules, and Subcommittee Assignments.”
  • Tuesday, January 31: The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Health Care, Benefits, and Administrative Rules will hold a hearing titled “Fraud, Waste, and Abuse under the Affordable Care Act.”
  • Wednesday, February 1: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing titled “Strengthening Medicaid and Prioritizing the Most Vulnerable.”
  • Wednesday, February 1: The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions will hold a hearing titled “Obamacare Emergency: Stabilizing the Individual Health Insurance Market.”
  • Wednesday, February 1: The House Committee on Education and the Workforce will hold a hearing titled “Rescuing Americans from the Failed Health Care Law and Advancing Patient-Centered Solutions.”
  • Thursday, February 2: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing titled “Patient Relief from Collapsing Health Markets.”