- The Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act was passed out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday after more than 24 hours of debate.
- The legislation, called America’s Health Care Act, has not yet been scored by the Congressional Budget Office but could mean a loss of coverage for at least 15 million people in 10 years, according to the Brookings Institution. The CBO score is expected to come early next week.
- The bill still faces quite an uphill battle, but some conservatives have indicated they would sign on if the freeze on Medicaid expansion is moved up to 2018 and work requirements for some Medicaid beneficiaries is allowed, The Hill reports.
The next step for the bill is the House Budget Committee, where it should face few issues. But lawmakers are still trying to push the bill without any concrete idea how many people would be covered by it, how much it would cost and how it would be paid for.
A credit outlook from Moody’s Investor’s Service and S&P Global Ratings released Thursday found the AHCA would likely be financially detrimental for hospitals and could lead to debt downgrades.
“The overall payor mix for providers would weaken as the number of people without insurance would most likely rise, as would the hospital sector's level of bad debt and charity care expenses,” S&P wrote.
Industry groups such as the American Hospital Association and American Medical Association are maintaining their opposition to the bill. Health insurers have warned it would likely further destabilize the individual insurance market. Meanwhile, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who has also come out against the AHCA introduced his own ACA repeal bill on Thursday, named the Obamacare Repeal Act, which reflects a 2015 reconciliation bill.