Ways and Means approves reconciliation measure; health care repeal

Legislative update

The House Ways and Means Committee today approved legislation by a 23-14 party-line vote that would repeal portions of the Affordable Care Act (sometimes referred to as “Obamacare”) including:

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  • The individual and employer mandates
  • The 2.3% medical device excise tax
  • The so-called “Cadillac tax” on certain employer-provided health benefits
  • Certain health benefit related reporting requirements

What's next?

The legislation reported by the Ways and Means Committee is part of a reconciliation process authorized in S. Con. Res. 11 (the FY 2016 budget).

The legislation is expected to be combined with legislation under consideration by other House committees to form one package to be considered by the full House in the coming weeks. Once the House passes the overall package and sends it to the Senate for consideration, special procedural protections referred to as “reconciliation” are expected to apply in the Senate.  Among those protections are rules limiting the ability of senators to filibuster the legislation. As a result, the legislation could be approved by the Senate with 51 votes—rather than the 60 votes often needed to end filibusters initiated in opposition to controversial legislation.  

 In connection with an earlier House effort to repeal “Obamacare,” the White House indicated that the president would veto such legislation if it were to reach his desk. Read a February 2015 Statement of Administration Policy [PDF 332 KB]

Other health care-related legislation

The House on September 28 passed another piece of health care-related legislation, by voice vote, H.R. 2061, a bill "...to amend section 5000A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide an additional religious exemption from the individual health coverage mandate, and for other purposes."  The Senate has not scheduled action on H.R. 2061.

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