04/14/2017 April 17, 2017 Weekly Legislative Update
“I love you dearly but I’m a ‘no’ vote on your amendment.”Representative Jody Hack tells a colleague she can’t support his position.
The Big Deal this Week: ACA Repeal and Replace Bill is released
The new legislation is called “The America Health Care Act” and would reverse many of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The legislation is controversial. Proponents say the bill will “lower costs, expand choices and put Americans back in charge of their own health care.” Opponents say as many of 15 million fewer people will be covered, rolling back progress of the ACA and increasing costs for women and seniors. Four Republican senators from states that have expanded Medicaid, say the Medicaid cuts are unacceptable. Some House Republicans say it doesn’t go far enough, labeling the new act as “Obamacare 2.0”. Speaker Ryan has indicated he has the votes to pass the bill.
Politico Pulse has summarized the new provisions:
WHAT'S IN 'THE AMERICA HEALTH CARE ACT' - Among the key provisions:
- The bill would repeal the ACA's individual mandate and instead allow insurance companies to charge a 30 percent surcharge if consumers don't keep "continuous" insurance coverage.
- But it would preserve popular Obamacare provisions like allowing children to stay on their parents' insurance plans until age 26 and requiring insurers to accept everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions.
- It would shift Medicaid away from its current open-ended federal matching payments to a per capita cap model, which could force states to shrink their programs and possibly lead to millions of current enrollees losing coverage.
- It would offer financial support to states that didn't expand Medicaid under the ACA by making a series of funding changes and reinstating disproportionate share hospital payments.
- It would eliminate a slew of taxes included in the ACA, including the medical device tax, the tanning tax, a tax on high earners and a tax on investments.
- Republicans would replace Obamacare subsidies with new age-based tax credits ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 to help individuals pay for coverage.
News of the Week
Gov. Kate Brown says GOP health proposal would be harmful http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/07/gov-kate-brown-says-gop-health-proposal-would-harmful/98882636/
Walden Wall Street Journal Op-ed on The Health Bill You’ve Waited For: https://waysandmeans.house.gov/icymi-brady-walden-wall-street-journal-op-ed-american-health-care-act/
Health coverage for hundreds of thousands of Oregonians at risk: http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2017/03/republican_plan_would_cut_bill.html
Oregon Dems, GOP differ: http://www.opb.org/news/article/oregon-democrats-republicans-affordable-care-act-replacement/
Bill Watch: HB 3391 Reproductive Health Equity Act of 2017
An updated reproductive health bill was unveiled at the Women’s Health and Wellness Alliance meeting this week. Sponsors say the bill would establish comprehensive coverage for the full spectrum of reproductive health services regardless of insurance coverage. The bill is up for a hearing in the House Health Care Committee on March 15.
Health-Related Bill hearings and other activities
Monday, March 13
HB 2534 Primary Care Residency Programs Public Hearing
HB 2644 Vitamin K administration to newborns Work Session
HB 2643 Rear-facing car seats for children under two years of age Possible Reconsideration and Work Session*
Tuesday, March 14
SB 754 Tobacco 21 Work Session
SB 816 ED Department Data (to measure psychiatric boarding) Public Hearing
Wednesday, March 15
SB 51, Behavioral Health Task Force (place holder for Behavioral Health Collaborative Recommendations) Public Hearing Note: amendments aren’t ready yet.
SB 833 Requires hospitals to facilitate peer support referrals to patients discharged following a suicide attempt.
SB 860 Mental health parity investigations Public Hearing
HB 3391 Reproductive Health Equity Public Hearing
Thursday, March 16
HB 3262 Requires DHS to adopt rules related to prescription of psychotropic medications for elderly and disabled. Public Hearing
Friday, March 17
HB 2122 CCO Reform Work Session
HB 2979 CCO enrollment Public Hearing
HB 2980 Community Mental Health contracts Public Hearing
Legislative Session 101: Reconsideration*
This is the process for taking a second vote on a measure. In committee this week, legislators were tied on a vote for amendments to HB 2643, the rear-facing car seat bill. (The amendment was to delay implementation until 2019 to allow time for educating the public about the new law.) One legislator (from the majority party) was excused that day, so they will reconsider the motion at the next committee hearing. Think of it as a “do-over”, or an opportunity to line up the votes.
For more information about the legislative process, please contact Katy King.