The following message is sent on behalf of Saul Levin, MD, CEO and Medical Director:
The Congressional Budget Office score released yesterday shows that 22 million Americans would lose coverage by 2026 under the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). The APA remains opposed to this bill. If you would like more information on BCRA please visit the following link: https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/advocacy/bcra-summary
The timing for the attempted passage of the BCRA is fluid, but we are providing the below outline as a guide to help you understand and navigate the process for this week.
BCRA – Timing update:
Floor Process on Health Care
- Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score on the Senate language was released Monday afternoon and stated that 22 million would potentially be left uninsured.
- Both Republican and Democrat staff will sit down with the Senate Parliamentarian to do the final “Byrd Bath” on the Senate language.
- First big health care vote of the week will be on the Motion to Proceed, which will be Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning. Under the rules of reconciliation this vote is non-debatable and only requires a simple majority.
- If they “get on the bill,” debate is limited to 20 hours with a vote-a-rama on amendments at the end of the debate. Expect the debate to be Wednesday or Thursday with the vote-a-rama likely to begin Thursday evening.
- The vote-a-rama of amendments could last for quite some time because there is no limit on amendments. This is the reason Leader McConnell backed it up against the weeklong recess.
- Expect negotiations and discussions to occur throughout the week as Leader McConnell works to get the votes he needs.
Republicans to Watch on Health Care:
- Conservatives – Cruz, Johnson, Lee, and Paul
- Moderates – Collins, Heller, Murkowski, and Portman
- To pass the bill, McConnell can only lose two votes, which would still need Vice President Pence to break a tie.
The APA is participating with five other “Frontline Physician” organizations to express our concerns with the legislation and urge Senators to vote no on the BCRA on Wednesday, June 28. Physician leaders from the six organizations will meet with key Senate offices on this legislation. We continue to have daily meetings with Senate offices through coalition meetings with other mental health and physician advocates, as well as on our own. We have also activated a member-wide grassroots push. For those who have not yet contacted their Senators, please do so here: http://actnow.io/gw2N1UI.
Please let us know if you have any questions. We will provide updates as the situation progresses.