H.R. 596 would repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the 2010 law that implemented President Obama’s healthcare reforms. The bill would direct the committees of the House of Representatives to begin the process of proposing alternative reforms. The House passed the bill on February 3, 2014, sending it to the Senate. There have been many previous bills that have attempted to repeal the ACA, none have succeeded.
The ACA created the “individual mandate,” a tax penalty for not holding qualified health insurance, and subsidies for low-income Americans to purchase health insurance. It also created the “employer mandate,” a tax penalty for employers with 50 or more full-time employees that fail to offer affordable qualified health insurance to employees and their children. At the same time, insurers were required to provide coverage to a wider population, including young individuals under 26 and those with preexisting conditions, and the law expanded Medicaid. The ACA negatively affected the existing health insurance coverage of some Americans. (More on the ACA)
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Feb 3, 2015.
(Sec. 1) This bill repeals the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the health care provisions of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. The repeal is effective 180 days after enactment of this Act. Provisions of law amended by the repealed provisions are restored.
(Sec. 2) The budgetary effects of this bill must not be entered on the PAYGO scorecards maintained by the Office of Management and Budget.
(Sec. 3) The Committees on Education and the Workforce, Energy and Commerce, the Judiciary, and Ways and Means of the House of Representatives must report legislation within each committee's jurisdiction with provisions that:
foster economic growth and private sector job creation; lower health care premiums; preserve a patient's ability to keep their health plan; provide people with preexisting conditions access to affordable health coverage; reform the medical liability system to reduce unnecessary health care spending; increase the number of insured Americans; protect the doctor-patient relationship; provide states greater flexibility to administer Medicaid programs while reducing costs; expand incentives to encourage personal responsibility for health care coverage and costs; prohibit taxpayer funding of abortions and provide conscience protections for health care providers; eliminate duplicative government programs and wasteful spending; or do not accelerate the growth of entitlement programs or increase the tax burden on Americans.