The Senate is set to consider a major overhaul of the nation’s health care law, as key GOP lawmakers seek to ease a backlash to the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid and lower insurance premiums.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is set for a full floor vote on the legislation next week, but a vote could not be scheduled until the end of this month, when the Senate is expected to move to conference committee on the bill.
The legislation would give states the ability to waive out of Medicaid or expand coverage.
It also would lower premiums for millions of Americans, though there are no details yet on how it would work.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that eliminating the ACA expansion would reduce federal revenue by $880 billion over 10 years.
The repeal could add as much as $1.2 trillion to the deficit, though it would be offset by other benefits, such as a reduction in the cost of coverage.
Senators have long been pushing for repeal of the ACA, which has cost the U.S. economy nearly $1 trillion in lost productivity and health care costs, and has been a political lightning rod in the 2016 presidential election.
But Republicans have been wary of taking a political hit from their party.
The measure has faced fierce criticism from President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly expressed his dissatisfaction with the health care legislation.
The bill also has faced opposition from Democrats and independents, who argue that it doesn’t go far enough to undo the ACA.
The plan comes as President Donald J. Trump and Republican congressional leaders meet with key House and Senate Republican members at the White House to negotiate the first major piece of legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
The president has signaled that he is willing to compromise to reach a bill.
But the legislation faces significant hurdles in the House, where Republicans hold a slim majority.
In a statement Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said, “There are strong bipartisan disagreements on key provisions of the bill that would benefit millions of hardworking Americans, including the expansion of the Medicaid program, the elimination of the employer mandate, and the elimination, within a short period of time, of the individual mandate.”
Ryan said the Senate bill would be “a significant step forward” for the ACA repeal effort, and that he and Trump are “committed to working together to come to an agreement to protect Americans and help provide the stability we need to create jobs and bring down premiums.”
Republican senators also announced that they would be drafting legislation that would create a permanent funding mechanism for states that opt out of the expansion, which was expanded by the ACA after Congress passed the law in 2010.
In their statement, the senators said the move would be a “fair, bipartisan way to ensure the ACA remains viable for future generations.”
The Senate bill has been met with criticism from conservative Republicans, who contend that the Medicaid expansion, the repeal of which they oppose, would lead to a federal takeover of state health care programs.
It has also drawn ire from liberals who say that it would increase the number of uninsured Americans and force states to adopt new, higher-cost health insurance policies.
Republican leaders are expected to discuss a package of reforms to the health law Tuesday, including a proposal to allow people to deduct premiums from their tax returns and a proposal that would expand Medicaid eligibility.
They are also expected to agree on a funding mechanism to keep insurance companies in the ACA markets.