Affordable Care Act Legislative Updates
Since the start of the 114th Congress, lawmakers have considered a number of bills to alter the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The House approved legislation to change the definition of "full-time employee" for purposes of the employer mandate to provide minimum essential health care coverage under the ACA from an employee who is employed on average at least 30 hours a week to an employee who is employed on average at least 40 hours a week.
H.R. 30, the Save American Workers Act of 2015, passed by a vote of 252-172. 12 Democrats voted in favor of the legislation, and no Republicans voted in opposition. Though it has not yet been scheduled, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has promised that the bill will see a vote in the Senate. White House officials have said that the President would veto the legislation if it arrives to his desk.
Bipartisan legislation has already been introduced in the House to repeal the ACA's medical device tax. Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) and Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) introduced the Protect Medical Innovation Act with 254 cosponsors, including 27 Democrats. The 2010 health care reform law placed a 2.3 percent excise tax on around 7,000 medical devices companies nationwide. This legislation would refund payments device makers have made since the tax took effect in January 2013.
Legislation to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) was reintroduced in the Senate by Sen. John Coryn (R-Texas). Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), a physician, will soon reintroduce the bill in the House with Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) as the lead Democrat. They are in the process of securing original cosponsors so the bill can be reintroduced with strong support. ASPS participates in the IPAB Coalition and has joined in co-signing a letter to Reps. Roe and Sanchez endorsing the bill.