10/24/2017

Latest effort to derail ACA fails, sparing California a $139M budget loss


A last-ditch health care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act failed to advance in the Senate prior to the Sept. 30 budget reconciliation deadline. The Graham-Cassidy Block Grant amendment to the American Health Care Act was abandoned after three Republican senators announced their opposition to the amendment — Susan Collins (R-ME), Rand Paul (R-KY) and John McCain R-AZ). Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) indicated that further action is unlikely this year and the Senate will turn its focus to overhauling the tax code.

CDA, along with the California Medical Association and California Hospital Association, sent letters to members of the California congressional delegation asking them to oppose the Graham-Cassidy Block Grant amendment to the American Health Care Act due to the negative implication for Californians. If passed, the amendment would have cost California nearly $139 billion in federal funding by 2027 and undercut the progress made thus far to reduce the number of uninsured California residents.

Regaining momentum on ACA repeal and replacement may become more difficult due to the Sept. 28 resignation of Tom Price, U.S. Health and Human Services secretary. With the White House focusing on a replacement for Price, there is speculation that this shift of attention will make it harder to realize the goal of the administration and members of Congress to reshape the health care system.

Efforts have resumed to develop a bipartisan plan that will stabilize Obamacare in the short term. One area of focus is the cost sharing reduction subsidies (CSRs) that compensate insurers for providing discounts on deductibles, copays and other out-of-pocket costs to low-income consumers.

In mid-October, President Trump stated the federal funding for CSRs will end immediately due to the lack of Congressional appropriation. This announcement will not affect the recently released 2018 premiums for Covered California. California’s attorneys general, along with others from 17 other states, filed a lawsuit to keep the CSR payments intact. Meanwhile, bipartisan legislative efforts to create legislation that would continue the cost-sharing subsidies while giving states more flexibility to develop and sell less generous health care plans outside the exchanges has recommenced.  

CDA will continue to monitor efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on behalf of its members.

Learn more about health coverage available through Covered California. For more information regarding the ACA and its impact on the dental profession, visit cda.org or contact CDA Public Affairs at 916.554.4984.



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Covered California, California’s health insurance marketplace for the federal Affordable Care Act, has released the participating dental plans for the 2018 benefit year. Despite concerns about marketplace challenges, limited plan offerings and premium increases around the country, California’s marketplace remains stable and high-performing.

CDA along with the California Medical Association and California Hospital Association sent the following letter to members of the California congressional delegation asking them to oppose the Graham Cassidy Block Grant amendment to the American Health Care Act.

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