It has been just over a month since the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) bill on May 4th. If you’ve been wondering, “What’s been going on lately? What’s next?” you’re certainly not alone.
What’s happened since the May 4th AHCA bill passage?
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its report scoring the latest version of the House bill to repeal and replace the ACA. Its conclusions tracked similarly with previous iterations of the bill, estimating that 23 million fewer individuals would be insured within a decade and that the federal deficit would reduce by $119 billion. The updated report led the Administration and many Republicans to either discredit the CBO’s assumptions or reinforce the need for the Senate to revamp the bill. While Senate Committees are drafting language to repeal and replace ACA, no details have been released, and it is unclear whether the Senate is working to amend the House-passed bill or develop its own significantly different proposal. Senate Republicans remain far apart on a number of issues including Medicaid expansion, Medicaid per capita caps, and pre-existing conditions.
With the report from the CBO in-hand, the Senate will begin the process to either edit and amend the House-passed AHCA bill or draft an entirely new version. The goal is likely to have their version completed and put up for vote in the Senate before the August recess. The process for a full ACA repeal and replace continues to be a partisan, Republican effort – if or when bi-partisan agreement can be reached remains to be seen.
What does this mean for employers?
- The ACA remains the law of the land. All employer responsibilities and obligations to comply remain unchanged.
- Given recent cues from the IRS – sending a Request for Missing Information letter and implementing a new validation system to identify non-compliant employers – employers will want to feel more confident than ever in their ACA management practices.
If your organization needs ACA management support, the experienced, specialized team at Equifax can help. We continue to support our clients and invest in our technology to ensure we’re ready should the legislation shift. Contact us to learn more about how we can support your ACA compliance efforts.