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New Iteration of AHCA Released: Public Health Watch Special Report

JUL 13, 2017 | BRIAN P. DUNLEAVY
Over the course of US history, since the first Congress met in the former capital of New York in the 1780s, the legislative process has never been smooth and easy.
 
Bills proposed by various members of both houses of the legislature rarely, if ever, become laws without first going through a long, drawn-out process—and, thus, many iterations—that frustrates observers and the general public alike. So, while the fact that we are on, at least, the third version of the GOP healthcare bill isn’t, in and of itself, all that unusual, what is odd, even for a signature piece of legislation that will touch the lives of millions of Americans, is the very public nature of the deliberations, and the fanfare that accompanies each new draft of the proposed bill.
 
Indeed, relatively few laws have been tracked from bill to ratification with such rapt attention—in fact, the notable exceptions may be previous healthcare proposals, including the Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”), the very piece of legislation that has been at the very center of this public back and forth, and the one Republicans are so desperate to consign to the scrap heap. In addition, the legislation that created Medicare and Medicaid, in the 1960s, attracted similar scrutiny.
 
And so, it is with some pause that we weigh in on the Senate GOP’s latest installment of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which they hope will enable them to “repeal and replace” the ACA. The chances that this is the final draft of the bill—and that it has the support of enough members of the Senate and House of Representatives to pass and become the law of the land—remain slim.
 
As reported by The Hill this morning (July 13, 2017), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Republican colleagues have written and released a new (and improved?) version of the AHCA that addresses many of the concerns of the conservatives within their ranks, but not those of their moderate counterparts. According to The Hill, support from moderate Republicans in both houses of Congress is likely vital for the AHCA, in whatever form, to be approved.


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