In a squeaker of a vote, a modified version of the American Health Care Act passed the House 217-213 on May 4. The vote was cleanly split along party lines, with no Democrats supporting the legislation and 20 Republicans voting against it.
In March, the bill was pulled prior to a vote when it became apparent that it did not have enough support to pass. Since then, President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan have been working within the GOP to generate support for the legislation and tweak it to satisfy disparate party factions.
The tipping point for this version of the bill seemed to be an amendment introduced by Representative Fred Upton (R-Michigan) that added $8 billion over five years to help support individuals with preexisting medical conditions. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has not yet released an evaluation of the bill in its current form.
The bill now heads to the Senate, where it likely will face significant challenges—and possibly extensive rewriting. Stay tuned for continuing coverage of this story as well as the implications for employers.