Earlier this week after approving the Motion to Proceed, the Senate took up two different ACA repeal bills. Both the Better Care Reconciliation Act and the House’s “repeal and delay” bills were defeated after failing to gain enough support from Republicans. Nine Republican Senators voted against the “repeal and replace,” while seven voted against “repeal and delay.”
Senate Leadership’s next attempt is to submit what is being referred to as a “skinny repeal.” While the contents of this bill have yet to be released, it is likely going to consist simply of a nullification of employer and individual mandate marketplace penalties, and a repeal of certain ACA taxes such as the medical device tax. The “skinny repeal” would likely have no effect on employer information reporting requirements.
The Motion to Proceed allowed the Senate to enter 20 hours of debate on repealing the ACA, which will continue today and possibly into tomorrow. The “skinny repeal” could be taken up as early as this afternoon. Further details will likely be released following the Senate lunch today.
Once the Senate closes debate, it will begin the “Vote-a-Rama,” when Senators from both parties will offer an unlimited number of amendments which are voted on without debate. The final bill that the Senate will vote on will contain any amendments that are approved during the “Vote-a-Rama.”
Some Senators have suggested another strategy for the House and Senate to go to conference to iron out their differences for a broader replacement bill. If this occurs, the bill would then go to the House and the Senate for a vote with no further amendments.