January 25, 2017 at 2:54 pm ET
Obamacare Hearings Set to Ramp Up Next Week
A Senate panel will hold their first hearing this year tied to Obamacare, as Republicans speed up efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing next Wednesday on “options for stabilizing the individual insurance market to rescue the 11 million Americans currently trapped in a collapsing health care market.”
Republicans have already taken steps to begin repealing Obamacare, and congressional leaders have said they will replace the law at roughly the same time. But the transition period will likely be a challenge since insurers may be tempted to bolt from the market during a time of uncertainty, making it more difficult for Republicans to follow through on their promise not to “pull the rug out from under anyone” with health coverage.
The HELP Committee was tasked with drafting reconciliation legislation to repeal major parts of Obamacare under a budget resolution passed by Congress this month, along with the Senate Finance Committee, the House Ways and Means and the Energy and Commerce Committee. All four committees are expected to play roles in crafting replacement legislation.
Next Wednesday’s hearing comes as other congressional committees are also ramping up action focused on Obamacare. Two House committees held hearings on the law this week, and the Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee has announced a hearing focused on Medicaid Expansion on Tuesday.