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General News    H2'ed 7/23/17

UPDATE: Senate health repeal FAILS the Byrd Rule; Freedom Caucus throws in the towel!

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Reprinted from by Keith Pickering


The GOP Senate version of Obamacare repeal, known as BCRA, does not meet the requirements of the Byrd Rule in many important areas, according to a ruling from the Senate Parliamentarian. Those provisions would have to be removed from the bill in order for the bill to pass under "reconciliation" rules, i.e., the "Byrd Rule".

Which means that the bill as it stands would require 60 votes to avoid a Democratic filibuster.

The parliamentarian has made a determination that certain provisions of the Republican "Better Care Reconciliation Act" released on June 26, 2017, violate the Byrd Rule. This means that,should the Senate proceed to the bill, these provisions may be struck from the legislation absent 60 votes. Notably, the parliamentarian has advised that abortion restrictions on the premium tax credit and the small business tax credit, and the language defunding Planned Parenthood, violate the Byrd Rule. Further, the "Buffalo Bailout" which was used to secure votes in the House has also been found to violate the Byrd Rule -- threatening other state-specific buy-offs.

Provisions Subject to a 60-vote Byrd Rule Point of Order

" Defunding Planned Parenthood: This section prohibits Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid funds for one year. (Sec. 124)

" Abortion Restrictions for Tax Credits: Two separate provisions contain Hyde Amendment language to prevent premium tax credits and small business tax credits from being used to purchase health insurance that covers abortion. (Sec. 102(d)(1) and Sec. 103(b))

" Sunset of Essential Health Benefits Requirement for Medicaid: This provision states that,beginning in 2020, states no longer have to cover essential health benefits in their Medicaid alternative benefit plans. (Sec. 126(b))

" Funding for Cost-Sharing Subsidies: This section replicates current law by providing funding for the subsidies through 2019. (Sec. 208)

" Stabilizing the Individual Insurance Markets ("Six Month Lock Out"): This section imposes a six-month waiting period for individuals attempting to enroll in coverage in the individual market who cannot demonstrate that they have maintained continuous coverage.(Sec. 206)

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