Ropes & Gray Partner Authors Fourth Article Examining “Repeal and Replace”
On June 22, Bloomberg BNA’s Health Law Reporter published the fourth article in a series in which health care partner Tom Bulleit (Washington, D.C.) examines efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare).
The article, titled “Searching for Goldilocks: Five Takeaways From the Senate’s Health-Care Reform Porridge-Making,” ran the same morning that the Senate released its response to the House of Representatives’ American Health Care Act, a “discussion draft” called the Better Care Reconciliation Act.
As Mr. Bulleit predicted, the Senate bill generally moved in the more moderate direction than the AHCA, and tracked three of his key takeaways: slowing the rollback of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion; survival of Obamacare’s support for individual health insurance market copayments and deductibles, called cost-sharing reductions; and the movement of individual market health insurance premium support back towards providing greater benefit for the working poor.
His prediction that the Senate bill would include more funding for state high-risk pools in harder to assess, because although the Senate bill spends less Federal money for that purpose, it also imposes a lighter requirement on the states to match the federal funds. The truth of his final takeaway – a bill that is “just right” to assemble sufficient conservative and moderate Republican Senators may still be “too cold” to achieve the same thing in the House – must await a Senate vote and conference with the House.