The House and Senate have approved a budget resolution (S.Con.Res. 3) providing instructions to Congressional committees on the federal spending framework for fiscal years 2017 through 2026. Notably, the resolution would enable the Senate to repeal provisions of the ACA pertaining to spending and revenues on a simple majority vote, without opportunity for filibuster. Such procedural protection would not extend to certain policy-related changes that do not directly impact federal spending. While Republican Congressional leaders have called for repealing and replacing the ACA, legislative language spelling out the replacement package has not yet been released.

Various Congressional committees are considering different aspects of potential changes to the ACA. Last week the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on potential repeal of the ACA’s individual insurance mandate. The following hearings also have been scheduled this week:

  • A January 31 House Oversight Committee hearing on “Fraud, Waste and Abuse under the Affordable Care Act.”
  • A February 1 House Education and the Workforce hearing entitled “Rescuing Americans from the Failed Health Care Law and Advancing Patient-Centered Solutions” and a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing focusing on stabilizing the individual health insurance market.
  • A February 2 Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing on “Patient Relief from Collapsing Health Markets.”