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PPACA repeal bill moves ahead in House

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Members of the House Rules Committee are preparing to set the guidelines for considering H.R. 596, a new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) repeal bill, on Monday — Groundhog Day.

The House has approved many partial and complete PPACA repeal bills since the law was enacted, in 2010, and Democratic leaders in the Senate buried all of them.

Democrats still hold enough seats in the Senate to keep routine bills of the Senate bill. But Republican leaders are looking for ways to get help from enough Democrats to have a stand-alone bill come up for a vote, and for other strategies they can use to push the bill forward.

H.R. 596, introduced by Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., would repeal PPACA. It would also repeal the health-related provisions in a sister law, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HCERA).

See also: Tea Party takes on business groups in primaries

The bill also calls for House committees to come up with proposals to eliminate “job-killing policies and regulations; lowering health care premiums through increased competition and choice; provide people with pre-existing conditions access to affordable health coverage; reform the medical liability system to reduce unnecessary and wasteful health care spending; increase the number of insured Americans; protect the doctor-patient relationship; provide the states greater flexibility to administer Medicaid programs; [and] expand incentives to encourage personal responsibility for health care coverage and costs.”

In related news, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has created a working group that will try to come with alternatives to PPACA. Members of the working group include Reps. Fred Upton, R- Mich.; Paul Ryan, R-Wis.; and John Kline, R-Minn.

See also: Boehner: No Obamacare repeal unless GOP comes up with alternative

In the Senate, the fate of H.R. 596 could depend partly on support from the new Senate majority leader, Mitch Connell of Kentucky, and from Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Kentucky is the home state of Kynect, one of the most popular and most highly regarded PPACA public exchanges.

Tennessee is the home of HCA Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HCA), a hospital company that has credited the PPACA Medicaid expansion program with sharply reducing bill collection problems.

See also: Internal feud among Republicans complicates push for bold agenda

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