Everyone is talking about health care reform: whether it’s the House bill, Repeal & Replace, Skinny Repeal, it can make your head spin. One question on everyone’s mind is how changes to health care will affect them. We at Dennis Sullivan & Associates are keeping up to date on all the changes, and will cover the process through a series of blogs to explain where health care reform is now, how it affects you and what the future may hold. For more information on the current law of the land, you can download our Report: Senior & Boomers Guide to Health Care Reform
Eventually, both the House and Senate must vote on the same bill.
The battle continues in Washington over the repeal or replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) and as we are witnessing; this can be a messy process.
Why Republicans are trying so hard to repeal and replace ObamaCare and how they are going about it:
ObamaCare, you may remember, was passed by the Democrats in 2010 with no Republican support. Ever since, Republicans have campaigned on repealing the program, which was unpopular with many Americans. “Repeal and Replace” was their rallying cry to voters to help them win back control of the House in 2012, then the Senate in 2014, and finally the Presidency in 2016. If the Republicans are not able to fulfill this major promise, some may be in danger of losing their seats in the next election, as they would likely be blamed for the problems with ObamaCare if they don’t fix them. These are the political reasons.
Democrats admit that ObamaCare has problems and needs a major fix to survive. But they are not on board with repeal and replace of such a signature piece of legislation, while Republicans try to find a way to pass new legislation.
The Legislative process:
The normal legislative process is that a bill begins in the House, where it is written, discussed and approved by a committee before the House votes on it. If it passes the House, it is then sent to the Senate. The Senate can vote on the same bill, make amendments to the House bill, or create its own bill. Eventually, both the House and Senate must vote on the same bill, so if there are differences, members of both the House and Senate meet in committee to resolve them. Once a bill passes both the House and Senate, it is then sent to the President who can sign it into law or veto it.
Right now, there is a House bill on health care that has passed the House, and a Senate bill that has not passed the Senate. Discussions and amendments are still occurring with the Senate bill in hopes it will pass soon. The public posture is that this messy legislative process is making the bill better.
Further complicating this process is that while the Republicans have a majority in both the House and the Senate, they only have 52 Republican Senators. 60 votes are required to overcome the filibusters and pass new legislation, so they are attempting to pass health care legislation through the Budget Reconciliation process. It only requires 51 votes, but it limits the legislation to budget-related items only. They would not be able to include provisions some Republicans want in a full repeal and replace bill—for example, letting insurance companies sell across state lines to increase competition, lower prices and create better plans; and allowing the government to negotiate lower drug prices. Issues like these would have to be voted on later.
For the Senate bill to pass in Reconciliation, 50 Republicans must vote for the bill, since no Democrat or Independent is expected to vote for the bill. Vice-President Pence would break the tie if needed.
The Senate rejected a proposal from Republican lawmakers to repeal Obamacare on Wednesday July 26, 2017, marking a significant milestone in the Republican Party's years-long political crusade to gut former President Barack Obama's legacy health care law.
What does the future hold?
We aren’t sure what the future American Health Care Act is going to look like, not sure anyone does, but luckily protecting yourself and your loved ones from expensive long term care doesn’t have to be so uncertain. With asset based long term care products, there are ways to insure your control over your future long term care and insure you have something left over for your spouse, children and loved ones. Don’t let your long term care plan sit in limbo. Stay tuned we will discuss more about what the future looks like in our next blog post.
At the Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center, we help people and their families protect their home, spouse, life-savings, and legacy for their loved ones. We provide clients with a unique educational and counseling so they understand where opportunities exist to eliminate problems now as they implement plans for a protected future.
If you would like more information on Medicaid, the Affordable Care, or the impact of new health care laws on your planning, request your free preview of our guide, the Senior & Boomers’ Guide to Health Care Reform & Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty.
We encourage you to attend one of our free educational workshops, call 800-964-4295 and register to learn more about what you can do to enhance the security of your spouse, home, life savings and legacy.