This week, three House committees will each take up portions of a reconciliation bill that repeal elements of the Affordable Care Act that are in their respective jurisdictions. Components the House Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Workforce Committees are including in the package would repeal the Employee Benefits Tax, the Medical Device Tax, Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), automatic enrollment, and the Employer Mandate. The bills are expected to pass out of the three committees primarily on party-line votes, but there may be a smattering of Democratic support for individual components such as IPAB repeal which was supported by Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-CA) in the Ways and Means Committee, but that will not translate into support for the broader package expected to be on the floor of the House.
Since passage of the law in 2010, the NAM has argued that there are portions of the law that need to be changed in order to protect the employer-based health care system that covers 175 million Americans. The five changes being considered by the three House Committees outlined above are a significant step to ensuring Americans who receive their coverage through their employer have a higher likelihood of keeping that coverage.
Although the reconciliation bill is not likely to be signed by the President, the effort to repeal these provisions as a package highlights the fact that there continue to be serious problems with the ACA and significant revisions of the law need to happen in order to make it work for employers and their employees.
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