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5 Bipartisan Healthcare Bills in Congress Now

by Countable | 11.22.17

The debate over healthcare reform is starting to heat up again after Senate Republicans added a repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate — which requires people to buy health insurance or pay a penalty — to their tax reform legislation.

While the proposed repeal of the individual mandate splits Congress along party-lines, there are a handful of issues in healthcare policy where there’s some unity. Here’s a look at five bipartisan healthcare reform bills in Congress now:

Introduced by Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN), the Forty Hours Is Full Time Act would change the definition of "full time employee" as a person working at least 40 hours per week on average. Currently, Obamacare defines a full time employee as working at least 30 hours per week and employers are mandated to offer such workers health insurance.

Introduced by Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and cosponsored by seven Democrats, the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act would eliminate Obamacare’s so-called "Cadillac tax" which imposes a 40 percent tax on high-cost, employer-sponsored health insurance plans. It’s set to take effect in 2020 after Congress voted in 2015 to delay it by two years.

Introduced by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and cosponsored by 260 House lawmakers (including 39 Democrats), the Protect Medical Innovation Act would repeal the 2.3 percent tax on medical devices. Policymakers are concerned that the tax would be passed onto consumers in the form of higher prices, leading Congress to delay its implementation through the end of 2017.

Introduced by Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) and boasting 173 cosponsors (including nine Democrats), this legislation would repeal the annual fee imposed on health insurance providers by Obamacare. The fee provides funding for subsidies received by low-income enrollees, but detractors argue that it raises costs for insurance who then raise prices on consumers to pay for it.

Introduced by Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) and cosponsored by 270 lawmakers — including 45 Democrats — the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act would eliminate the Independent Patient Advisory Board (IPAB) that was created by Obamacare to suggest and implement Medicare cuts if Congress doesn’t act. The IPAB isn’t expected to be triggered because of the Medicare budget situation until 2021, but the House voted 307-111 to repeal the IPAB early in November 2017.

Tell your reps what you think of these healthcare reform bills using the Take Action button and share your thoughts in the comments below.

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: utah788 / iStock)

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(103)
  • Ticktock
    11/22/2017
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    Unless the President and Congress is willing to sign on to a single payer plan that is comprehensive they can either choke on healthcare or/and be voted out of office in 2018 and 2020.

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  • Judith
    11/22/2017
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    GET A GRIP ON REALITY CONGRESS ! SINGLE PAYER IS THE ONLY WAY OUT OF THIS MESS YOU HAVE CREATED BY YOUR ALLOWING OUT OF CONTROL INSURANCE COMPANIES TO DICTATE THE COSTS OF HEALTH CARE !! DUH !!!

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  • Michael.J.L
    11/22/2017
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    Single-Payer.....period. Or is America unable anymore to do what other nations have done successfully?

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  • Cindi
    11/22/2017
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    Sigh. As a nurse, single-payer is the only true solution. Healthcare must not be for-profit! Benchmark all of the other industrialized countries that have done this successfully! If you refuse to do this, then leave the Affordable Care Act alone.

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  • Daniel
    11/22/2017
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    Don’t cherry pick provisions of the ACA. On a bipartisan basis get together and address issues. Make sure a single payer system is on the table.

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  • Rebecca
    11/22/2017
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    Stop trying to get rid of the ACA and fix it. All you are doing his killing people off. Why not give the American people the same healthcare you get. Universal healthcare is the way to go. Why not look at other countries and see how they make healthcare work for everyone. Those who have s lot of money will still get what ever care they need.

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  • Countryfirst
    11/22/2017
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    Wake up congress..fix the ACA and stop trying to MURDER US BY TAKING AWAY OUR HEALTHCARE FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR ASININE TAX BREAK FOR THE RICH!!! THIS IS ABSOLUTE INSANITY!

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  • Dumbeuropean
    11/22/2017
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    No words for this dysfunctional congress ! Obviously they do not give a .. about the American people and they can stop praying as well because that does not resolve anything just makes a heartless person asking for forgiveness of his character!

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  • James
    11/22/2017
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    America wants single payer now !! Enough with the shell game

    Like (18)
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  • Pat
    11/22/2017
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    I don’t like that you’re trying to get rid of the affordable care act. And I much even less like the fact that you’ve checked it onto the tax bill. And I even much less like the fact that it’s to benefit the tax bill is to benefit the wealthy. Vote it down!

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  • Shane
    11/23/2017
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    How do you get premiums down? Invest in preventive care, and I'm sorry but the defunct FDA will need to be overhauled and recommitted to public health. Dollar per dollar this is a real solution. Can you think long term congress? Like, longer than an election cycle? Everyone needs healthcare. Be smart about it. It's working in other countries. Why is that?

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  • Sherri
    11/23/2017
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    None of those are good enough, we want Medicare for All.

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  • Robin
    11/23/2017
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    Let's stop messing about when it comes to health care. We need single payer and we need in decades ago. Make sure that's single payer is on the table. Enough is enough already!

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  • Joy
    11/23/2017
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    Leave the ACA alone! And stop trying to sabotage it. I am getting so tired of this!

    Like (6)
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  • Kathryn
    11/22/2017
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    In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I implore you to stop trying to find ways to gut the ACA. The people have spoken (loudly) 4 Times now. Don’t you listen? Don’t you care? Silly question, I suppose, to men whose souls are for sale. STOP trying to gut my healthcare. Stop trying to raise my taxes. I less than a year, when Trump is in jail, you’ll have to own up to this. He’s insane, you’re not. Leave it alone. Vote NO, or I will in 2018.

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  • Raymond
    11/22/2017
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    Unless the President and Congress is willing to sign on to a single payer plan that is comprehensive they can either choke on healthcare or/and be voted out of office in 2018 and 2020.

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  • Jeff
    11/22/2017
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    Don’t change healthcare...keep the ACA!

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  • Mark
    11/22/2017
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    Mandate is unconstitutional!!! We don’t want government health care!! Let the free market work!!

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  • Jonathan
    11/22/2017
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    Repeal Obamacare!!!!!! The Federal Government has no business in insurance. This is not what our Government was designed for, small limited government, a free market, not imposing taxes on people who don’t have insurance!!! Repeal Obamacare!!!! Do what you said you were going to do!!!!

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  • Doug
    11/23/2017
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    Governments do not provide health care Doctors and nurses do , we need to cut out the middle man (government and insurance company's) and let Doctors and Nurses do there jobs without corporations trying to profit off Their work at our expense.

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