WASHINGTON—Today, the House Rules Committee – the fourth House committee to consider the American Health Care Act – posted two amendments to the legislation. The amendments include some purely technical revisions needed to comply with the Senate rules, as well as limited substantive changes, both those recommended by the House Budget Committee during its consideration of the bill and those proposed by House Republican members and the White House. The following is a statement from House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) as well as a summary of the changes.
“The American Health Care Act is the result of a long, member-driven process, and these improvements are an extension of that inclusive approach. I want to thank the White House and members from all parts of our conference who have helped make this the strongest legislation it can be. With this amendment, we accelerate tax relief, give states additional options to spend health care dollars how they choose, strengthen what were already substantial pro-life protections, and ensure there are necessary resources to help older Americans and the disabled. With the president’s leadership and support for this historic legislation, we are now one step closer to keeping our promise to the American people and ending the Obamacare nightmare.”
The first amendment makes technical revisions to the original bill to ensure compliance with the Senate rules governing reconciliation bills. It is purely technical and achieves the same policy goals as previously drafted.
The second amendment includes improvements drafted by both of the authorizing committees.
Under jurisdiction of the Ways and Means Committee: Moves up repeal of Obamacare taxes from 2018 to 2017, strikes a provision allowing excess tax credits to be deposited into Health Savings Accounts, and provides budgetary space for the Senate to increase tax credits for older Americans.
Under jurisdiction of the Energy and Commerce Committee: Immediately prohibits any additional states from expanding the current broken Medicaid program, allows states to opt-in to a traditional Medicaid block grant as well as implement work-requirements for Medicaid, protects the equitable state-federal partnership, and enhances the growth rate for the aged and disabled population on Medicaid.