House Passes Obamacare Replacement Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017, legislation introduced under the administration and Republican congressional leadership’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal-and-replace initiative. H.R. 1628 repeals most of the ACA tax provisions, includes certain refundable tax credits, rolls back state Medicaid expansions under the ACA, and was introduced under what are known as “reconciliation rules.” This means that the legislation could pass in the Senate with a filibuster-proof simple majority. But some Democratic opponents to the legislation believe that certain provisions of the bill do not qualify for this filibuster-proof protection. Such reconciliation bills are generally subject to a future expiration date, and if so would have to be affirmed before such date in future legislation by a future Congress. Changes to H.R. 1628 could be made in the Senate, in which case, it would likely require action by a House-Senate conference committee to resolve differences, with voting on such unified legislation by both the House and Senate.