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Houses Passes ACA Defender Bill

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Members of the House voted 234-183 Thursday to pass H.R. 987, a package of health insurance proposals that have strong support from House Democrats.

The bill provisions could shore up some Affordable Care Act (ACA)  health insurance programs and rules, and block some ACA-related regulations and policies developed by the administration of President Donald Trump.

(Related: House Rules Prepares to Package Health Fixer Bill)

All Democrats who cast votes voted in favor of the bill.

Just five of the 188 Republicans who participated also voted for the bill.

One of the Republicans who crossed party lines to vote for the bill is Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich. Upton was the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee before Democrats took control of the House in January.

The current name of H.R. 987 is the Marketing and Outreach Restoration to Empower Health Education Act of 2019 bill, or the MORE Health Education Act bill.

Because Republicans control the Senate, only measures that have significant Republican support are likely to come up on the Senate floor.

House members passed several amendments by voice vote during debate on the House floor, and they held recorded votes on three proposed amendments.

One amendment proposed by the Democrats, to declare Trump administration efforts to support short-term health insurance an attack on ACA rules, passed 231-185, with all participating Democrats voting for the amendment, and just one Republican voting for the measure.

Another amendment , proposed by Republicans who wanted to cut out some of the ACA public exchange program funding provisions in H.R. 987, lost by a  189-230 vote, with two Democrats siding with the Republicans, and two Republicans siding with the Democrats.

The amendment with the most bipartisan support would provide opioid-specific education and training for ACA public exchange navigators and certified application counselors. That amendment, which was introduced by Rep. Josh Harder, D-Calif., passed by a 243-174 vote. Twelve Republicans crossed party lines to support that proposal.


Information about H.R. 987 floor debate is available here.

— Read House OKs Curb on Trump Administration ACA Waiver Programon ThinkAdvisor.

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