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May 04, 2017
Modified AHCA Narrowly Passes House

By Jennifer Carsen, JD, Senior Legal Editor

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In a squeaker of a vote, a modified version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed the House today, 217-213. The vote was cleanly split along party lines, with no Democrats supporting the legislation (and 20 Republicans voting against it).

ACA road sign

Back in March, the bill was pulled prior to a vote when it became apparent that it did not have the support to pass. Since then, President Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan have been working within the GOP to generate support for the legislation and tweak it to satisfy disparate party factions.

The tipping point for this particular version of the bill seemed to be an amendment introduced by Representative Fred Upton (R-MI) that added $8 billion over five years to help support individuals with pre-existing medical conditions. The Congressional Budget Office has not yet released an evaluation of the bill in its current form.

The bill now heads to the Senate, where it is likely to face significant challenges—and possibly extensive rewriting. Stay tuned to HR.BLR for continuing coverage of this story, as well as the implications for employers.

JenJennifer Carsen, JD,is a Senior Legal Editor for BLR’s human resources and employment law publications, focusing on benefits compliance. In the past, she served as the managing editor of California Employer Resources (CER), BLR’s California-specific division, overseeing the content of CER’s print and online publications and coordinating live events and webinars for both BLR and CER.

Before joining CER in 2005, Ms. Carsen was a Legal Editor at CCH, Inc. and practiced in the Labor & Employment Department at Sidley & Austin, LLP in Chicago. She received her law degree from the New York University School of Law and her B.A. from Williams College. She is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association.

Questions? Comments? Contact Jen at jcarsen@blr.com for more information on this topic

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