This In Focus article, authored by HMA Managing Principal Greg Nersessian, CFA and Research Assistant Anh Pham, was originally published in the August 2, 2017 HMA Weekly Roundup.
In deference to Miracle Max, after last week’s failed votes on “Repeal and Replace,” “Straight Repeal,” and “Skinny Repeal,” the GOP’s efforts to undo the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through budget reconciliation appear to be at least “mostly dead.” While it is possible strictly partisan discussions will reaccelerate at some point, it appears that Congress is, for the first time, considering bipartisan proposals for shoring up the underwriting challenges in the individual market. In light of this change in direction, we are using this week’s In Focus section to chronicle the events that transpired over the last five months leading to last week’s historic vote. Our objective here is to create a reference piece for our readers so that the next time Congress revisits major healthcare legislation we can look back on the strategies and approaches that led to last week’s result. Many times over the last eight months, we have reflected on the key dynamics surrounding the passage of the ACA in 2010 as a guide for what factors to watch in the efforts to repeal the ACA – budget reconciliation issues, Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scoring, key proposals to win over recalcitrant legislators, the President’s role in pushing the agenda – but our memories were not always up to the task. So in the spirit of having a reference document for future reflection, we record below the key events associated with this effort.