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senate Bill S. 1016

Extending the ACA's Health Insurance Subsidies, if King V. Burwell Strikes Them Down, Until 2017

Argument in favor

If the Supreme Court rules that the ACA’s subsidies are unconstitutional, many people would lose their health insurance coverage altogether. This bill will keep coverage afloat for at least two years while things get sorted out.

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12/07/2015
"I want to end the international embarrassment of the United States of America being the only major country on earth that doesn't guarantee health care to all people as a right and not a privilege." [huffingtonpost.com]
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DonaldTrump's Opinion
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12/08/2015
"Obamacare’s going to be repealed and replaced. Obamacare is a disaster if you look at what’s going on with premiums where they’re up 40, 50, 55 percent." [forbes.com]
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BarackObama's Opinion
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12/07/2015
"In the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one should go broke just because they get sick." [whitehouse.gov]
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Argument opposed

Even as a stopgap, this bill takes away too many of the critical components of the ACA — like the individual and employer mandates, and the federal definition of essential health benefits.

Loraki's Opinion
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06/24/2015
The A.C.A. has been a bad bill from its inception. The American people gave Congress a mandate during the last election calling for the repeal of OBAMACARE. Many Congressmen promised that if they were elected/reelected they would make repealing OBAMACARE a top priority. It's high time they kept their promise! The A.C.A. is a disaster for our economy, and people can't afford its high premiums. Also, with government computer systems getting hacked, do you really want the government holding all your sensitive personal health data? Big government is responsible for our humongous national debt. The federal government has no business talking over our health care system!
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BananaNeil's Opinion
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06/24/2015
The ACA has helped so many people across the country. If this is "a first step towards reversing its damage", I DO NOT support it.
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Brett 's Opinion
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06/23/2015
This bill strips away the employer mandate and other critical components of the ACA. Without those, deficits will rise and the number of insured people will fall. We need to clarify the original legislation for now and work on improving it over time.
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What is Senate Bill S. 1016?

This bill would maintain the federal HealthCare.gov tax credits through the end of August 2017 in the event that the Supreme Court strikes down parts of the law in the King v. Burwell ruling expected at the end of June 2015. Meanwhile, the bill would repeal several portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and modify others. 

For those of you not brushed up on your health care news, King v. Burwell is the Supreme Court case that challenges the ACA, asking:

"whether subsidies, in the form of tax credits, can go to people in states using the federal exchange, or only to those in the states running their own health insurance marketplaces." 

Under current law (pre-King v. Burwell), 34 states rely on the federal exchange. Depending on how the court rules, all of those states could lose their subsidies. It has been estimated that eight million people could have their health insurance impacted by the outcome of the case. Learn more about the case and what's at stake here.

This bill would repeal the individual mandate to purchase health insurance, and the employer mandate to offer health insurance to certain employees.  It would modify the premium assistance credit that gave subsidies to eligible people for purchasing health insurance. Those who already have the credits could keep them until September 2017 under this bill. People who were not previously enrolled would not be able to receive a credit. So — if you're not in the exchanges currently, things will be pretty different. If you are — things will still change dramatically after 2017, but you can keep your subsidies. 

If passed, this bill would allow people to stay in the existing group health plan or health insurance coverage that they were enrolled in until the end of 2017. Family members or new employees could enroll in the group health plan or insurance coverage if the health plan permits it.

States would be able to determine what “essential health benefits” must be covered by group health plans or health insurance plans.

Impact

People who would lose their health insurance coverage or subsidies depending on the outcome of King v. Burwell, business owners and their employees, President Obama's legacy, health insurance companies, and healthcare providers.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 1016

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth:

Sponsoring Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) calls his legislation:

“A first step toward reversing the damage that Obamacare has inflicted on the American health care system, it begins to replace Obamacare’s expensive mess with patient-focused, market-based reforms.”

Some of the provisions in Sen. Johnson’s bill — particularly the repeal of the individual and employer mandates and the removal of federal rules about the “essential health benefits” that insurance plans must cover — are considered to be non-starters for support among Democrats.

This bill is one of several Republican healthcare reform proposals, as Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) have also offered reforms that might be adopted in the event that the Supreme Court rules against the Obama administration in King v. Burwell.

For its part, the Obama administration has said that it has  no contingency plan if the Supreme Court strikes down the subsidies, as Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell told Congress: 

“We know of no administrative actions that could, and therefore we have no plans that would, undo the massive damage to our healthcare system that would be caused by an adverse decision.”

Of Note:

A ruling in the case providing the momentum for this legislation — King v. Burwell — is expected in late June or early July 2015. At the heart of the case is the question whether tax credits for health insurance can be extended through exchanges set up by the federal government, as the ACA’s text is considered by some to imply that they can only be provided through state exchanges.

The federal government established 34 of the health insurance exchanges, while 16 were established by states. 


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Neon Tommy)

AKA

Preserving Freedom and Choice in Health Care Act

Official Title

A bill to preserve freedom and choice in health care.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Finance
    IntroducedApril 20th, 2015
    "I want to end the international embarrassment of the United States of America being the only major country on earth that doesn't guarantee health care to all people as a right and not a privilege." [huffingtonpost.com]
    Like (88)
    Follow
    Share
    The A.C.A. has been a bad bill from its inception. The American people gave Congress a mandate during the last election calling for the repeal of OBAMACARE. Many Congressmen promised that if they were elected/reelected they would make repealing OBAMACARE a top priority. It's high time they kept their promise! The A.C.A. is a disaster for our economy, and people can't afford its high premiums. Also, with government computer systems getting hacked, do you really want the government holding all your sensitive personal health data? Big government is responsible for our humongous national debt. The federal government has no business talking over our health care system!
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    "Obamacare’s going to be repealed and replaced. Obamacare is a disaster if you look at what’s going on with premiums where they’re up 40, 50, 55 percent." [forbes.com]
    Like (37)
    Follow
    Share
    "In the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one should go broke just because they get sick." [whitehouse.gov]
    Like (24)
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    Or we could just have free healthcare like other all the other developed nations.
    Like (22)
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    "Big corporations would get to cut health benefits for millions of workers, and push people out of their employer insurance plans. Some of those people will lose their health insurance all together. Others would be pushed onto federal programs, expanding the reach of Obamacare, and taxpayers would get stuck with the tab." [huffingtonpost.com]
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    6 million people losing their insurance would be immoral and a national disgrace, especially when the sole reason for the challenge is a twisted interpretation of the law writer's intent.
    Like (8)
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    The ACA has helped so many people across the country. If this is "a first step towards reversing its damage", I DO NOT support it.
    Like (6)
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    Without this, I have no health care. I could literally die. No self respecting country is okay with its people dying of neglect.
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    This bill strips away the employer mandate and other critical components of the ACA. Without those, deficits will rise and the number of insured people will fall. We need to clarify the original legislation for now and work on improving it over time.
    Like (5)
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    Obamacare is a bad law. If it weren't shoved down our throats and carefully debated and included input from both sides, it would not be in the process of being struck down. Hopefully SCOTUS will not bend over backwards and rewrite it as was done in their last Obamacare decision.Now Republicans need to stop being spineless wonders and repeal this bad law. While they are at it, they need to get rid of the Boehner and McConnell. They are giving away the farm.
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    It should just be flat out repealed, but Obama's unconstitutional promises shouldn't screw everybody over.
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    Absolutely not. If one party is so completely bent on killing the ACA @ the expense of so many other actions either missed or diluted, then cancel the ACA immediately and let the chips fall where they may. The opposition to ACA has to realize that all actions have consequences. The electorate needs a wake-up to see who is in charge of congress and how they are effecting the economy.
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    "Every American deserves the opportunity to live a healthy life. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created enormous progress by expanding health care to millions of Americans." [martinomalley.com]
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    The ACA helps many underprivileged citizens gain access to health care they desperately need. It is a shame that the US's health care policy is so far behind other developed nations's.
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    It's over, move on.
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    It won't make it any more constitutional by letting it go on for two years. People need to stand up and do for themselves!
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    The medical treatment should be a right. It should not just be about how much money You have!
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    "If we’re going to fix health care in this country, we need to wrest control away from Washington and give it back to the states, citizens and their care providers.” [nytimes.com]
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    The Federal Government shouldn't be in the insurance business. Everything the Feds do cost to much, has to much corruption, and never works right.
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