This information is updated frequently and will continue to evolve. We will keep you posted of significant developments as they occur. If you have any questions on these materials, please contact Joel Kopperud at joel.kopperud@ciab.com.

Issue Overview

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, was passed in 2010. The ACA’s goal was to increase health insurance quality and affordability, lower the uninsured rate by expanding insurance coverage and reduce the costs of healthcare.

The Republican Party is generally opposed to the ACA and tried more than 50 times under President Obama to repeal it. Under President Trump, the House passed the American Health Care Act on May 4, 2017. You can click here for a memo detailing notable provisions in the AHCA, produced by our legal team at Steptoe & Johnson and click here for Steptoe’s side by side comparison of the ACHA and the ACA.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the ACHA would leave 14 million Americans uninsured after one year, rising to 23 million by 2026.

The bill currently sits in the Senate. The CBO’s score makes the current version of the ACHA politically unpalatable for Senate passage, which is why they’ve gone back to the drawing board.

The Council’s Positions

The Council’s largest priority in this fight is the preservation of Employer-Sponsored Insurance. Employer-Sponsored Insurance (ESI) is the most common type of health coverage in the United States, with more than 177 million Americans depending on it. But some in Congress want to tax employees on the cost of their health care benefits.

Imposing a tax on employer-sponsored health plans is a dangerous policy experiment that could significantly erode employer-sponsored health coverage. Any cap on the tax exclusion is a direct tax on employees and the middle class.

Click here to see our full page on ESHI.

The Council is also continuing to fight against the Cadillac Tax. The Affordable Care Act includes a 40% excise tax on employer-sponsored health plans with annual premiums exceeding $10,200 for individuals or $27,500 for families (the amount exceeding the threshold is taxed at 40%). Most predictions indicate that a significant number of group health plans would trigger the 40 percent excise tax if there aren’t any adjustments made to the threshold. This has been dubbed the “Cadillac Tax” referring to high-cost health plans.

You can learn more about the Cadillac Tax here.

The Current State of Play

The bill currently sits in the Senate. The CBO’s score makes the current version of the ACHA politically unpalatable for Senate passage, which is why they’ve gone back to the drawing board.

See more by reading the latest Healthcare in Transition newsletter, below.

Questions?

Please contact Joel Wood at joel.wood@ciab.com or Joel Kopperud at joel.kopperud@ciab.com with any questions.

Healthcare in Transition Spotlight

Another Whirlwind 48 Hours
Healthcare In Transition | Oct. 18, 2017 | ACA, Employee Benefits, Government Affairs, Healthcare

On Monday, President Trump said Obamacare was dead. On Tuesday, he endorsed legislation to fund the ACA’s cost-sharing subsidies for two years. Wednesday, he backed off on that support.

Something’s Gotta Give
Healthcare In Transition | Sep. 27, 2017 | ACA, CMS Market Stability, Employee Benefits, Government Affairs, Healthcare, Single Payer

The consensus remains that the battle to repeal and replace the ACA is far from over, but is reaching a bipartisan healthcare compromise at all realistic in this environment?

ACA Deadline Looms
Healthcare In Transition | Sep. 20, 2017 | ACA, Employee Benefits, Government Affairs, Healthcare, Single Payer

Senate Majority Leader McConnell announced that the Senate will vote next week on Republican Sens. Cassidy and Graham’s repeal and replace legislation.

Single-Payer, GOP Healthcare Proposals Released
Healthcare In Transition | Sep. 13, 2017 | ACA, Cadillac Tax, CMS Market Stability, Employee Benefits, Employer Tax Exclusion, Government Affairs, Healthcare, Single Payer

Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced his “Medicare for All” legislation, while Sens. Bill Cassidy and Lindsay Graham released what might be the Senate’s last effort to repeal & replace the ACA.

Could Regular Order be on the Horizon?
Healthcare In Transition | Sep. 7, 2017 | ACA, Cadillac Tax, Employee Benefits, Employer Tax Exclusion, Government Affairs, Healthcare, Single Payer

In its first of four hearings yesterday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee indicated intentions to find a bipartisan solution to stabilize the individual health insurance market and shore up rising healthcare costs.

Health Policy Recommendations For Congress
Healthcare In Transition | Aug. 23, 2017 | ACA, Government Affairs, Healthcare, Single Payer

A group of business organizations sent this letter to Congress last week outlining bipartisan policy recommendations that are important to the stability of the individual market.

Who Saw That Coming?
Healthcare In Transition | Jul. 28, 2017 | ACA, Employee Benefits, Government Affairs, Healthcare, Single Payer

The Council’s Joel Wood & Joel Kopperud dissect what happened on the Senate floor during this morning’s dramatic end to the Republicans’ healthcare overhaul efforts.

To Vote or Not to Vote?
Healthcare In Transition | Jul. 19, 2017 | ACA, Cadillac Tax, Employee Benefits, Employer Tax Exclusion, Government Affairs, Healthcare, Single Payer

The Republican ACA repeal and replace—then-turned repeal and delay—plan fell apart on Capitol Hill this week.

Senate Bill Part Deux
Healthcare In Transition | Jul. 13, 2017 | ACA, Employee Benefits, Employer Tax Exclusion, Government Affairs, Healthcare, Single Payer

Overall, the bill closely hews to the last version of its repeal-and-replace “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017” and contains very few provisions that will directly impact the employer market.

Dealing With Delay
Healthcare In Transition | Jun. 28, 2017 | ACA, Cadillac Tax, Employee Benefits, Government Affairs, Healthcare, Single Payer

Our own Joel Wood summarizes, as only he can, what has already been a long benefits-related week…and it’s only Wednesday.

Resources

Another Whirlwind 48 Hours

On Monday, President Trump said Obamacare was dead. On Tuesday, he endorsed legislation to fund the ACA’s cost-sharing subsidies for two years. Wednesday, he backed off on that support.

Something’s Gotta Give

The consensus remains that the battle to repeal and replace the ACA is far from over, but is reaching a bipartisan healthcare compromise at all realistic in this environment?

ACA Deadline Looms

Senate Majority Leader McConnell announced that the Senate will vote next week on Republican Sens. Cassidy and Graham’s repeal and replace legislation.

Single-Payer, GOP Healthcare Proposals Released

Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced his “Medicare for All” legislation, while Sens. Bill Cassidy and Lindsay Graham released what might be the Senate’s last effort to repeal & replace the ACA.

Could Regular Order be on the Horizon?

In its first of four hearings yesterday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee indicated intentions to find a bipartisan solution to stabilize the individual health insurance market and shore up rising healthcare costs.

Health Policy Recommendations For Congress

A group of business organizations sent this letter to Congress last week outlining bipartisan policy recommendations that are important to the stability of the individual market.

Who Saw That Coming?

The Council’s Joel Wood & Joel Kopperud dissect what happened on the Senate floor during this morning’s dramatic end to the Republicans’ healthcare overhaul efforts.

To Vote or Not to Vote?

The Republican ACA repeal and replace—then-turned repeal and delay—plan fell apart on Capitol Hill this week.

Senate Bill Part Deux

Overall, the bill closely hews to the last version of its repeal-and-replace “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017” and contains very few provisions that will directly impact the employer market.

Dealing With Delay

Our own Joel Wood summarizes, as only he can, what has already been a long benefits-related week…and it’s only Wednesday.