Congressional Republicans Announce Probable Starting Point for the ACA’s Replacement

This week a group of Republican Senators unveiled the “Patient Freedom Act” (PFA), which will likely be the initial framework for the “replace” part of their effort to “repeal-and-replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Spearheaded by Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), the PFA preserves a number of the ACA’s more popular provisions (such as the prohibition on pre-existing conditions) while also offering individual states flexibility with regard to health insurance and health care generally, including—if they choose—maintaining the ACA status quo.

The PFA has detractors on both sides of the aisle. Very pro-ACA Democrats do not like its attempt to kill the ACA, while very anti-ACA Republicans don’t think it goes far enough in that effort. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), for example, has offered his own alternative, parts of which may or may not be incorporated into the final package. And, in a largely symbolic gesture, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), has filed legislation that simply repeals the ACA altogether without offering any alternatives at all.

The PFA’s critics notwithstanding, the “something-for-everyone” nature of the PFA makes it the most likely vehicle for ACA reform, and President Trump made clear at the GOP retreat in Philadelphia (and elsewhere) that the “replace” is just as important as the “repeal.”

The GOP has set a soft deadline of April of this year to have it’s ACA replacement ready for the president’s signature. We will keep you posted as they move toward that goal.

Related Content

This is What You Need to Know About President Trump’s...
October 23, 2017
Last week President Trump signed an executive order1 urging federal agencies to write, or re-write, regulations in three key areas of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Here, we will discuss the changes and explain what impact they will have on the...
IRS Announces 2017 Inflation Adjustments
October 26, 2016

The IRS has announced inflation adjustments for 2017, confirming contribution limits for Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), and transportation and parking fringe benefits.

  • The contribution limit for medical FSAs will increase in 2017 to $2600 (up...

Don’t Fall For The Pre-Tax Wellness Program Scam
October 21, 2016

A small number of operators in the benefits industry have been selling so-called “tax-free” wellness programs to employers. IRS has taken notice, but not in a good way.

The pitch goes something like this: An employer offers employees certain benefits...

IRS Announces 2018 HSA Limits
May 05, 2017

Yesterday, the IRS announced the HSA limits for 2018. The changes from the 2017 limits are as follows:

Maximum Contributions

  • Individual coverage: $3,450 ($50 increase from 2017)
  • Family coverage: $6,900 ($150 increase from 2017)

Minimum deductible

  • ...