|House Meets At:||First Vote Predicted:||Last Vote Predicted:|
9:00 a.m.: Legislative Business
Five “One Minutes”
|10:00 - 11:00 a.m.||4:00 – 5:00 p.m.|
***Members are advised that close votes are possible today. All Members must be present and voting. Any expected absences should be reported to the Whip’s Office at x5-3130.
***Members are further advised that the timing of last votes could occur later than predicted. Further information regarding the schedule will be announced as soon as it becomes available.
H.Res.__ - Rule providing for consideration of H.R. 1628 - TrumpCare (Rep. Black - Budget) (One Hour of Debate). The Rules committee is expected to report a closed Rule that self-executes a revised Managers' Amendment to H.R. 1628. Despite repeated promises of openness, this bill is being rushed to the floor by the Republican Majority just hours before Members are asked to vote on it. The bill contains new policies that could negatively impact millions, which are being added without any committee action, hearings, or bipartisan discussion. Members are urged to VOTE NO.
H.R. 1628 – TrumpCare (Rep. Black – Budget). Today the House will consider TrumpCare as amended in the Rules Committee.
The bill will take away coverage from 24 million Americans over the next decade, according to CBO estimates, including seven million currently covered by their employers. The bill repeals the Affordable Care Act's income-adjusted premium tax credits that adjust according to average premiums in a state. It replaces them with flat credits of $2,000-$4,000 based on age that will dramatically increase out-of-pocket costs, particularly for lower-income families and older Americans. An "age tax" imposed on those ages 50-64 will force many in this age group to pay five times as much as a younger person for the same plan.
As amended, the bill will repeal Essential Health Benefits under Title I of the ACA that require health plans to cover major categories of benefits like doctor's visits, hospitalization and prescription drug coverage. Without essential health benefits, insurers could make their benefits bare-bones, dropping benefits entirely or dramatically limiting benefits likely used by those with chronic conditions or serious illness. People with pre-existing conditions would not actually be able to purchase plans that cover the benefits they need.
The bill makes draconian cuts to the Medicaid program, which covers one in five Americans. These cuts will make it harder and much more costly for families to find long-term care for elderly parents or community-based services and supports for family members with disabilities. The bill fundamentally alters the financing structure of Medicaid, cutting and permanently capping the program, which will shift costs to states and force states to cut eligibility, cut benefits, and drive health care providers out of the program.
Medicaid is also a primary payer for mental health and substance abuse treatment, as well as maternity care. The amended bill includes just $15 billion for states to ensure access to these services, which is wholly insufficient to compensate for the loss of coverage under Medicaid and and elimination of required benefits in private insurance plans.
All of these cuts to middle class Americans’ health care are used to finance hundreds of billions in tax cuts. The bill repeals the Net Investment Income Tax immediately, but delays the underlying bill’s repeal of the Medicare payroll tax on high income earners until 2023, a change intended to offset other policy changes in the amendment rather than improve Medicare’s solvency. Both tax cuts only benefit individuals earning more than $200,000 and couples earning over $250,000 per year, and combined cost over $100 billion.
The AARP, American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, American Hospital Association, American College of Physicians, American Academy of Family Physicians, National Nurses United and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among many others, have all come out against this legislation because it would prevent patients across the country from receiving quality, affordable care. The people on the front lines of health care, who help patients every day and experience the impact of decisions made in Washington, clearly see that the American Health Care Act is irresponsible.
Republicans made a series of changes behind closed doors in the middle of the night and are now jamming this bill through the House of Representatives just hours later because they do not want the American people to know what is in it. Members are urged to VOTE NO.
Bill Text for H.R. 1628:
Postponed Suspensions (2 bills)
|The Daily Quote|
“This was not how the new Republican order was supposed to dawn. Instead of a united push towards a GOP holy grail, repealing Obamacare, the drama exposed a dangerous fault line in the party. The desperate scramble for votes, conflicting signals, factional intra-party warfare, and the defiance shown by rank-and-file members to their leaders signaled that one-party rule may turn out to be just as complicated as life in a Congress where Democrats and Republicans share power. But really, it shouldn't have been this hard....After all, the GOP voted many times to repeal Obamacare or parts of it – though always knew it would ultimately be thwarted by the Senate or Obama's veto.”
- CNN, 3/23/2017