Energy and Commerce Republicans Release Legislation to Repeal and Replace Obamacare
March 9, 2017
The Following is a Press Release the Energy and Commerce Committee issued on March 6, 2017, posted here for informational purposes only. The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints and official policies of CT NAELA.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) released legislation as part of House Republicans’ effort to repeal and replace Obamacare through a budget process known as reconciliation. The legislation, part of House Republicans’ American Health Care Act, creates a new and innovative Patient and State Stability Fund to help low-income Americans afford health care and to repair the damage done to state insurance markets by Obamacare. Additionally, the legislation lays out a plan to responsibly unwind Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion while prioritizing the program’s funds to the most vulnerable through a per capita allotment.
The Energy and Commerce Committee has scheduled a markup of this legislation on Wednesday, March 8, at 10:30 a.m., in room 2123 of Rayburn House Office Building.
Upon releasing the legislation, Chairman Walden said:
“After years of Obamacare’s broken promises, House Republicans today took an important step. We’ve spent the last eight years listening to folks across this country, and today we’re proud to put forth a plan that reflects eight years’ worth of those conversations with families, patients, and doctors. Simply put, we have a Better Way to deliver solutions that put patients – not bureaucrats – first, and we are moving forward united in our efforts to rescue the American people from the mess Obamacare has created.
“With today’s legislation, we return power back to the states – strengthening Medicaid and prioritizing our nation’s most vulnerable. We provide the American people with what they’ve asked for: greater choice, lower cost, and flexibility to choose the plan that best suits their needs. Today is just the first step in helping families across this country obtain truly affordable health care, and we’re eager to get this rescue mission started.”
More than eight months ago, House Republicans unveiled A Better Way, our vision for repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a patient-centered, 21st century health care system.
On January 13, the House passed a budget resolution to begin turning that vision into legislation through reconciliation—a process that allows legislation to be passed with a simple majority in the Senate and quickly signed into law.
The budget resolution outlined specific instructions for the Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees—the primary committees with jurisdiction over health care—to draft legislative recommendations that the Budget Committee could compile into one reconciliation package.
When combined with the legislation released by Ways and Means, the legislation Energy and Commerce released today meets those instructions.
Specifically, the Energy and Commerce legislation:
- Creates a Patient and State Stability Fund – This new and innovative fund give states broad flexibility to design programs that best serve their unique populations. They can also use funds to increase access to preventative services.
- Responsibly unwinds Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion – By freezing new enrollment after 2 years and grandfathering in current enrollees, we protect patients and offer a stable transition.
- Strengthens Medicaid – Using a per capita allotment, our legislation ensures a fair funding formula for states while creating a viable financial future for the program.
CLICK HERE to read the entire bill, which includes legislative recommendations from the Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees.
CLICK HERE to read a section-by-section of the Energy and Commerce legislation.
The Majority Memorandum, witness list, and witness testimony for the hearing will be available here as they are posted.