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Senate Approves ACA Reconciliation Bill, Repealing Medicaid Expansion

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Michael Petruzzelli

Manager, Policy and Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

Senate Approves ACA Reconciliation Bill, Repealing Medicaid Expansion

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Last week, the Senate approved a highly partisan budget reconciliation bill that repealed a significant portion of the Affordable Care Act, including Medicaid expansion. The bill also repealed the authority of the federal government to run health care exchanges and eliminated subsidies to help people afford plans purchased through those exchanges. Passed on party lines, the bill now must pass the House before heading to the President’s desk. The White House has made clear the President intends to veto the legislation, protecting his signature legislative achievement.

“For too long, Democrats did everything to prevent Congress from passing the type of legislation necessary to help these Americans who are hurting,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on the Senate floor. “Today, that ends.”

This type of repeal legislation was long-expected from the Republican-controlled Congress. After Republicans gained the majority in the Senate in January, it was made clear that passing repeal legislation was a key priority for the GOP in 2015. However, before this version of the bill can move to the President’s desk, it must first pass the House of Representatives. The lower-chamber passed similar ACA-repeal legislation earlier this month, but that legislation did not include repealing the Medicaid expansion provisions of the law.

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