Obamacare Repeal Bill to Be Introduced Next Week, Rep. Collins Says

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By Alex Ruoff

A key House panel will receive a draft of a revised Obamacare repeal bill March 2, Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), an Energy and Commerce Committee member, told reporters March 1.

Committee leaders signaled they will send a draft bill to members shortly after a meeting meant to boost support for House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) plan for repealing the Affordable Care Act. The Energy and Commerce Committee could mark up the bill the following week.

Collins said the Congressional Budget Office hasn’t scored the bill, meaning it hasn’t determined how much the legislation would cost the federal government. He said the committee is likely to mark up and vote on the repeal bill before the CBO can score it.

Collins warned reporters the committee is working to ensure that the new bill won’t be leaked to reporters like an older version was recently. The leaked bill saw major blowback from conservative hardliners who oppose offering refundable tax credits.

The repeal bill will include the contentious provision to offer refundable tax credits to Americans to replace the ACA’s support for low-income Americans, which also comes as refundable tax credits, Collins said. The legislation will also seek to permit selling insurance across state lines, a favorite of President Donald Trump.

Medicaid Compromise

The repeal bill also tries to strike a compromise for states that expanded their Medicaid programs and those that didn’t expand, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), chairman of the Energy and Commerce health subcommittee, told Bloomberg BNA March 1.

Republicans want to freeze expansion funds, meaning states that expanded under the ACA will continue to get added Medicaid funding from the federal government in coming years. But no new states will get additional funds to expand their programs and anyone who became newly qualified for Medicaid under expansion who falls out of Medicaid won’t be permitted back.

States that didn’t expand Medicaid could see more funding from the federal disproportionate share hospital program, which pays hospitals that care for the uninsured.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Ruoff in Washington at aruoff@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kendra Casey Plank at kcasey@bna.com

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