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114th Congress, Vote 6; House of Representatives #3762

Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015

Official Title: To provide for reconciliation pursuant to section 2002 of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2016.

HR 3762: Budget reconciliation measure to repeal portions of the ACA
Passed by the House on January 6, 2016, 240-181 (13 abstaining).

Synopsis: Rep.Tom Price (R-Georgia) introduced H.R. 3762 in the House on October 16, 2015. On October 23, it passed the House with a vote of 240 to 189. The Senate took up the bill in November, added additional provisions to make the repeal effort more robust, and passed their version of the bill on December 3, with a 52-47 vote.

Since the Senate passed a different version of the bill, it had to be be reconciled with the House before it was sent to President Obama. On January 6, 2016, the House passed the Senate's version of the bill, but President Obama vetoed it two days later. A vote to override the veto failed in the House on February 2.

The House version of H.R. 3762 included repealing the individual mandate, the employer mandate, the medical device excise tax, and the "Cadillac tax"" on expensive employee health insurance premiums.

It also included a measure to eliminate federal Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood for one year. But it called for increasing funding for community health centers by $235 million/year for two years (a 6.5 percent increase over the currently scheduled funding).

Republicans used the budget reconciliation process to ensure that their bill could advance through the senate as long as it received a simple majority of at least 51 votes, instead of needing 60 votes. By using reconciliation, the measure was filibuster-proof, and advanced to a vote in the Senate. Although there have been more than 50 bills that attempted to repeal or defund all or part of the ACA over the years, H.R. 3762 marked the first time that Republicans have used reconciliation to push the legislation through with a simple majority in the Senate.

The Senate added six amendments to the bill, and made it a much more robust attempt at repealing the ACA. In addition to the House provisions, the Senate's version would have implemented a two year phase-out of Medicaid expansion and exchange subsidies.

The House agreed to the Senate's changes, so the final version of the bill included the Senate's modifications.

There were concerns in Congress – particularly among lawmakers from states that have expanded Medicaid – that repealing the law would result in millions of people losing their health insurance coverage. But Politico reported that "senators were reminded that the president would veto the repeal bill anyway, meaning Republicans could vote on the measure without having to deal with the political risks of actually making major changes to existing law."

Why supporters pushed for this bill