Latest News on the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act

Image (C) Gage Skidmore (permission granted via Wikimedia Creative Commons)
Image (C) Gage Skidmore (permission granted via Wikimedia Creative Commons)

June 30, 2017: On June 22, 2017, Republican leaders publically released its healthcare repeal and replace bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act (“BCRA”).  This bill reflects the American Health Care Act (“AHCA”), which the House passed in May.  Republicans quickly amended the bill on June 26th after widespread criticism.  This amendment implemented a penalty for failing individuals failing to acquire health insurance, but did not make any other major changes.

Since the Senate sent the bill to the Congressional Budget Office (“CBO”) for scoring before releasing it to the public, the bill has already received an economic analysis from the agency.  The CBO reports that by 2018, 15 million more people will be left uninsured compared to the ACA.  By 2026 that number would increase to 22 million.

Many Republican Senators have spoken out against the bill and say they will not vote for it without sweeping changes.  As a result, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delayed the vote until after the July 4th recess.  As of July 11, 2017, Senator McConnell is cancelling the first two weeks of the August recess in order to tackle a number of legislative items, including passing the BCRA.

— You can view the Health Reform Tracker’s executive summary of the BCRA and its amendment here.
— The full text of the bill can be found here.
— You can read the CBO report here.  HRT’s summary of the report is forthcoming.
— For the current tally of where Senators stand with the bill, you can visit the New York Time’s tracker.