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On June 22, the U.S. Senate issued the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, a substitute to the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA), which would repeal and replace several provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The Senate bill was slated for a vote this week; however, on June 27 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) delayed the vote until after the July 4 recess due to a lack of support for passage. 

The current draft of the Better Care Reconciliation Act shares several provisions with the AHCA, some of which ABC supported, including:

  • Zeroing out the employer and individual mandate penalties 
  • Repealing an additional Medicare tax of 0.9 percent of wages, compensation and self-employment income 
  • Repealing the medical device tax
  • Repealing the health insurance providers fee or the HIT 
  • Increasing the maximum contribution limit on health savings accounts (HSA) 
  • Repealing the restriction on over-the-counter medications for FSAs and HSAs 
On June 26, the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation issued a report that estimates the enactment of the Senate health care bill would reduce the federal deficit by $321 billion over the period of 2017 to 2026 as well as increase by 22 million in 2026 the number of uninsured compared to current law.

ABC will continue to provide updates in Newsline on the status of the Better Care Reconciliation Act and other health care issues that impact ABC members.