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Republicans present modifications to ACA replacement bill

[JURIST] Republican lawmakers on Monday released two amendments [press release] to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) [materials], the proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) [materials], in an effort to appeal to both conservative and liberal critics. Besides some technical and policy changes [materials, PDF], the bill also incorporates recommendations from Republican officials and the House Budget Committee [official website], which approved [JURIST report] the original bill last Thursday. The bill dictates that ACA taxes on the health industry will be repealed as soon as 2017. Tax credits will no longer be deposited into health savings accounts, and there is room for such credits to be increased for older Americans in the future. The bill also addresses Medicaid in numerous ways, including allowing states to enforce work requirements and receive federal funding while prohibiting such states from further expanding the current Medicaid system. Upon presenting these modifications, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) [official profile] declared that the bill will fulfill the government's promise to the American people and properly terminate the ACA. The modified bill will be evaluated [CNN report] by the House Rules Committee and undergo a vote this Thursday.

Repealing the ACA was a significant element of the latest election cycle. Senators proposed [JURIST report] the initial ACA replacement bill at the end of January. This came after President Donald Trump signed an executive order [JURIST report] aimed at repealing the ACA, shortly after being sworn in. The Senate had prepared for the repealing of the ACA earlier that month when it voted 51-48 [JURIST report] to prevent the process from being subject to a filibuster. Also in January, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a motion [JURIST report] to stay a federal court order preventing the federal government from enforcing an ACA regulation that protects transgender people and women from discrimination in health care. On the same day the former Secretary of Health and Human Services warned [JURIST report] that a repeal of the ACA without an immediate replace would create a dangerous situation for American healthcare.

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