May 5, 2017

8 things that will happen next for the AHCA

Evan Vucci / AP

So now it's the Senate's turn. It's not going to look like the sputtering, start-and-stop process in the House (if they're lucky), and Senate Republicans are likely to be more careful on the policies in replacing the Affordable Care Act. But they'll have to mediate the same tensions between conservatives and moderates as the House did, and it could take them weeks to put their version together.

What we know about what comes next, via Caitlin Owens:

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has assembled a working group of GOP members representing different factions of the caucus to discuss how to move forward. They met shortly before the House vote on Thursday, the second meeting the group has had.The bill is unlikely to go through committee, although the committee chairmen will still have an important role in the process.There will be a Congressional Budget Office score before senators take a vote. This is necessary to make sure the bill complies with Senate rules.As far as timing, it'll take "several weeks," one senior aide said. A second told Caitlin that "the Senate isn't going to put a deadline on handling repeal and replace. Getting it right will set the date, and once the Senate Republican conference is ready to go, then it will move."HELP Committee chairman Lamar Alexander says he'll have four priorities: help people who won't have any insurance options next year, lower premiums, give states more flexibility on Medicaid without "pulling the rug out from under people," and protecting people with pre-existing conditions.Alexander on how the process will work: "We'll be informed by what the House did, and I'm sure if they worked the issues out, we'll borrow their ideas wherever we can. But we'll write a Senate bill, it'll get a [CBO] score so we'll know what the cost is, and then we'll vote."Finance Committee chairman Orrin Hatch: "We must manage expectations and remain focused on the art of the doable."Sen. Rob Portman: "I continue to have concerns that this bill does not do enough to protect Medicaid's expansion population."

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