Consensus Building on ACA Repeal, Replace Continues in Congress
While Cabinet confirmation hearings dominated the news cycle this week, discussions continued on Capitol Hill over how to move forward with repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. This week featured the introduction of new legislation as well as public back and forth among individual Members of Congress debating next steps. Legislators have yet to coalesce around a course of action on reforming the nation’s health care system.
REPEAL OR REPAIR?
There is a growing divide among congressional leaders on whether Congress can and should fully repeal the Affordable Care Act. Many of the law’s provisions are popular to large sectors of the American electorate. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) recently introduced legislation that would allow states three options: keep ACA mandates and requirements, choose a new state alternative with federal assistance or design an alternative without federal assistance. One of the more moderate initiatives, this plan was met with criticism from more conservative legislators for not repealing the health care law it its entirety.
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is one of the more vocal champions of simply repealing the health care law and waiting until later to craft and debate a replacement package. “If we load down the repeal discussion with what comes next, I think it’s going to make it a lot harder to get either one of them done,” Lee said recently in an interview. “We need to repeal it first before deciding what comes next. I think there is a lot of agreement among Republicans in Congress with regard to the repeal bill. There is a lot less agreement on what comes next.”
TAKE ACTION AND #UNITE4BH
As these discussions continue on Capitol Hill, the National Council is asking all advocates to speak up and take action by joining our Unite4BH campaign. The campaign to unite for behavioral health aims to demonstrate the widespread, bipartisan support for coverage and care of mental illness and addiction. Join us today!