Issue Date: June 2017
On May 4, 2017, the United States House of Representatives narrowly passed the American Health Care Act (“AHCA”),
a bill that seeks to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”). The AHCA is now
before the Senate. Since the bill was introduced through the budget reconciliation process it will require only 50 Senate
votes to move forward (in case of a tie, Vice President Pence will cast the deciding vote). However, as the bill moves
forward, it is important to remember that because Republicans are using the budget reconciliation process to advance
the legislation, they are limited with respect to what they can include within the bill. In general, reconciliation rules
prohibit the Senate from considering issues that do not impact the federal budget. In addition, any differences between
the Senate and House versions of the bill would have to be reconciled into a single bill that can then pass in both the
House and Senate. That bill would also have to survive procedural challenges in the Senate requiring that a bill passed
by a simple majority may include only provisions related to the federal budget. The next significant deadline for
employers to watch is the end of July before Congress takes its summer break.
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