ACA Repeal Debate Continues and the Debt Ceiling is Approaching
June 13, 2017
As Republicans are starting to feel emboldened by insurers leaving ACA marketplaces, top health care groups are opposing their House bill. Unrelatedly, the Treasury believes that the government will be funded through September, but fails to give specifics and the proposed “border adjustment tax” may get a phase-in period.
- The departure of insurers from the ACA is emboldening Republicans, helping them make the case to the public and to each other that the time has come to repeal the law. In recent weeks, insurers in many states have grown skittish about offering health insurance plans on the exchanges in 2018, raising the possibility that large swaths of the country will be left without a coverage option on their exchanges next year. [The Hill]
- Eight influential healthcare and consumer advocate groups are partnering to highlight concerns about the House-passed ACA repeal-and-replace bill. Those joining forces include the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Hospital Association, Federation of American Hospitals, the March of Dimes, American Medical Association and AARP. The groups plan to highlight four main items of the American Health Care Act they see as falling short: health care affordability, access to care, protection for people on Medicaid and protections for those who receive their health coverage through an employer. [The Hill]
- The top House Republican tax legislator floated a five-year phase-in to his controversial “border adjustment” idea on Tuesday in a bid to blunt mounting opposition to the concept. The phase-in offered by Rep. Kevin Brady (R., Texas) is a response to critics who worry about the disruption that border adjustment could cause for companies, supply chains and consumers. It is a sign that Mr. Brady continues to press ahead with border adjustment and refine details of that plan rather than drop the proposal as some Republicans are urging. [WSJ]
Economic Indicators & News
- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the U.S. government can be funded through “the beginning of September” and urged lawmakers to raise the federal borrowing limit before they leave for their summer recess. Asked for more specifics on when the government will run out of cash to pay its bills, Mr. Mnuchin said he would prefer not to give a range at this time. Mixed messages and a dearth of details from the administration have led to confusion on Capitol Hill and in markets over when exactly Congress needs to lift the debt ceiling. [WSJ]