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H.R. 2192, To Amend the Public Health Service Act to eliminate the non-application of certain State waiver provisions to Members of Congress and congressional staff

Floor Situation

On­­­­ Thursday, May 4, 2017, the House will consider H.R. 2192, to amend the Public Health Service Act to eliminate the non-application of certain State waiver provisions to Members of Congress and congressional staff, under a closed rule. H.R. 2192 was introduced by Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) on April 27, 2017, and was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce in addition to the Committee on House Administration.


Summary

H.R. 2192 strikes the section of the American Health Care Act that exempts Members of Congress and congressional staff from the waivers of federal mandates of essential health benefits, age rating, and community rating.


Background

Under the American Health Care Act, states may apply for waivers from the Affordable Care Act’s mandates on essential health benefits, age rating, and community rating.  The MacArthur Amendment, which included these provisions, exempted Members of Congress and congressional staff in order to comply with the U.S. Senate’s procedural instructions and the Byrd rule.  Without such an exemption, the bill’s privileged status under the reconciliation process that only requires a 51-vote threshold in the Senate could have been jeopardized.  H.R. 2192 fixes this problem and ensures that any changes made to the health care law apply to Members of Congress and their staffs.

According to the bill’s sponsor, “In America, lawmakers are not above the law. Members of Congress should be treated no differently than other Americans struggling to afford healthcare. Representatives should have to abide by the very same options for coverage as their constituents, and anything short of that is simply hypocrisy. Congress must live by the rules it creates.”[1]


Cost

A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate is not currently available.


Staff Contact

For questions or further information please contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 2-1374.

 

[1] See Rep. McSally’s Press Release, April 27, 2017.

115th Congress