Senate Vote Upholds Trump ACA Waiver Rule

One day before open enrollment begins on the Obamacare exchanges, Senate Democrats forced a procedural vote on a Trump-era regulation allowing states to design their own health care programs, and the Republican Senate held mostly firm with only Sen. Susan Collins of Maine siding with the Dems. The final vote was 52-43 affirming the regulation known as “1332 waivers.”

aca-marketplace-opens-nov-1The vote was held under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which allows a majority of the House and Senate to overturn a regulation. Under terms of the CRA, all new regulations must be reviewed by Congress before taking effect. A simple majority vote of both houses can kill a regulation.

In 2017 when President Trump took office, the Republican-led House and Senate disapproved 14 regulations issued under the Obama administration, only the second time in history the CRA had been used to void regulations.

The term “1332 waivers” refers to section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare). In 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rewrote the 2015 guidance governing such waivers. Specifically, the new interpretation allows for the expansion of Association Health Plans (AHPs) and short-term health insurance policies.

The ACA federal health insurance marketplace, or exchange, opens tomorrow, Nov. 1, and runs through Dec. 15. Many state marketplaces will operate through Jan. 31, 2020.

NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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