SENATE REJECTS ACA REPEAL
After a series of votes this week failed to pass the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA), the Senate version of repeal and replace of the ACA, or the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act of 2017 (ORRA), which was the repeal and delay approach, Senate Republicans attempted one last bill entitled the Health Care Freedom Act (HCFA) – the so-called “skinny” repeal bill. However, early this morning HCFA was also defeated when three Republican Senators joined Democrats in voting down this version of ACA repeal as well. For a complete explanation of what HCFA would have done, check out the blog post on Health Affairs.
So what happens now? Republican leadership in the Senate indicated that they plan to move on to other issues, but the possibility remains that they could take up ACA repeal again in the future. We will continue to monitor the status of health care reform in Congress and report on any renewed efforts to repeal, replace or repair the ACA. In the meantime, you can view the NDNRC statement on health reform which we released after the election last November which includes the provisions of the ACA which we believe are vital to people with disabilities. In the statement entitled “Preserve the Protections Provided by the Affordable Care Act,” we call on Congress and the Administration to protect provisions in the ACA which have benefited people with disabilities.
In the event that the Senate returns to the BCRA debate, there are a few resources which came out recently which help explain the potential impact of the law. They are as follows:
- NHeLP: Top 10 Changes to Medicaid Under Senate’s ACA Repeal Bill
- Kaiser Family Foundation: Medicaid Changes in Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) Go Beyond ACA Repeal and Replace
- Kaiser Family Foundation: Premiums and Tax Credits under the Affordable Care Act vs. the Senate Better Care Reconciliation Act: Interactive Maps
CMS has released a new fact sheet on the new verification process for Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs). The fact sheet “5 Things Assisters, Agents, and Brokers Should Know about SVIs” examines SEP Verification Issues (SVIs). To learn more about the fact sheet or to download a copy, check out our news item. The Georgetown University Center on Health Insurance Reforms also has a blog post this month on this issue entitled “New Special Enrollment Roadblocks for Consumers: Hindering, not Helping Consumers Get Coverage.”
The CDC funded New Hampshire Disability and Public Health Project has a 30-minute video, Be Active, Eat Healthy, Have Fun: Promoting the health of people with IDD, which was created in response to a request to provide information about health disparities experienced by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. If you do use the video, they also have a short evaluation survey for you to complete.
The University of Washington – Healthy Aging Rehabilitation Research Training Center (RRTC) has released a plain language research summary on “The Benefits of Happiness and Finding Your Sense of Purpose.”
Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Eligibility Determinations and Enrollment Report from May 2017. This report can also be found on our Resources & Links page under “Enrollment Statistics.” Prior Medicaid enrollment reports from CMS, are archived on our website.
Are you looking for local partners to help with outreach to the disability community? The NDNRC has Community Outreach Collaboratives (COCs) which work to increase collaborations in the community, dissemination and outreach efforts and enrollment of people with disabilities in the ACA marketplace. You can find a COC, on the COC page of our website.
Archives of our weekly updates are available on the NDNRC website.