CHA News Article

First Step to ACA Repeal Passes the Senate

The Senate passed a fiscal year 2017 budget early Thursday morning, the first step in the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through a powerful, majority-vote mechanism known as reconciliation. As detailed in a video from the American Hospital Association, reconciliation is a tactic by which a legislative proposal can be passed by a simple majority vote; however, only provisions that spend or save federal funds may be addressed by the reconciliation proposal. 

The 51-48 vote came after seven hours of debate on more than a dozen Democratic amendments targeted at maintaining the most popular provisions of the ACA. California Sen. Kamala Harris voted no; Sen. Dianne Feinstein was not present. The House — where growing concern continues over the need for a concrete replacement proposal — is expected to vote on the budget Friday. 

Hospitals are urged to contact their representatives, per CHA’s Jan. 4 Advocacy Alert, to emphasize the need for a viable plan to continue coverage for the nearly 5 million Californians who have gained coverage under the ACA.

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