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

Senate Bill Out In The Wild
Healthcare In Transition | Jun. 22, 2017 | ACA, Employee Benefits, Employer Tax Exclusion, Government Affairs, Healthcare

Takeaways from Senate GOP’s “Better Care Reconciliation Act” Senate Republicans released their health reform overhaul today after weeks of intrigue. The Council is extremely pleased to note that the legislation

All eyes on the employer market
Healthcare In Transition | Jun. 14, 2017 | ACA, Employee Benefits, Employer Tax Exclusion, Government Affairs, Healthcare

An update on preserving the employer market, the Senate’s bill, and more.

One Evolving, Complicated Knot
Healthcare In Transition | Jun. 7, 2017 | ACA, Employee Benefits, Employer Tax Exclusion, Government Affairs, Healthcare

Our own Joel Wood digs deeper on what taxation of the employer-sponsored group health insurance market really means, how to deal with the state waiver process and what it will take to get the votes.

CBO Scorin’
Healthcare In Transition | May. 25, 2017 | ACA, Employee Benefits, Healthcare

The recent CBO score makes the Senate’s effort to craft a bill significantly more difficult.

Slow Goin’ on Repeal & Replace
Healthcare In Transition | May. 18, 2017 | ACA, Employee Benefits, Healthcare

The Republican working group is moving forward with its meetings but making little progress, other than clarifying its goal to lower premiums.

Next Steps on Healthcare Bill
Healthcare In Transition | May. 10, 2017 | ACA, Employee Benefits, Government Affairs, Healthcare

The Senate is starting from scratch on the American Health Care Act. Since the narrow passage of the House repeal bill last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has created

Breathing Life Back Into Trumpcare
Healthcare In Transition | Apr. 26, 2017 | ACA, Employee Benefits, Healthcare

A number of House Freedom Caucus members announced their support for an amended ACA repeal/replace bill on Wednesday. Our own Joel Wood dives in (video).

Trumpcare: Back in Business?
Healthcare In Transition | Apr. 26, 2017 | ACA, Employee Benefits, Healthcare

In a dizzying week of legislative jockeying, a number of House Freedom Caucus members announced their support for an amended Affordable Care Act repeal/replace bill this afternoon. The news came

Massive Tax Bill: Impact on Brokers?
Healthcare In Transition | Apr. 26, 2017 | Employee Benefits, Employer Tax Exclusion, Healthcare

President Trump promised to slash tax rates for businesses and individuals, setting the stage for yet another epic legislative contest.

What We’re (Also) Watching: Frustration in the Market
Healthcare In Transition | Apr. 26, 2017 | Employee Benefits, Healthcare

Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM), is losing health insurer Anthem as a client, after being accused of not negotiating lower prices for prescription drugs.

Resources

June 22, 2017 Steptoe Analysis of “Better Care Reconciliation Act”

This memo contains analysis from our legal team at Steptoe & Johnson on the Senate’s draft of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.

June 22, 2017 Updated ACA Reform Legislation Tracker

This ACA Reform Legislation Tracker was updated June 22, 2017 by our legal team at Steptoe & Johnson.

June 14, 2017 Flood and Health Reform Update from Washington

The latest from The Council’s Joel Wood on both issues.

June 12, 2017 Joint Letter on the Employer Market

This joint letter discusses the damage caused by destabilizing employer-sponsored healthcare system.

May 1, 2017 Comparison of the ACA and AHCA Bills

Get an easily digestible and downloadable PDF comparison of the ACA and the American Health Care Act (AHCA) provided by our legal team at Steptoe & Johnson.