The ink had barely dried on Thursday's U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold the individual mandate when Republican Congressional leaders announced that they had scheduled a July 11 vote to once again repeal the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Political junkies may recall that when the new Congress convened in 2011, one of the first votes by the Republican-dominated House of Representatives was to pass a full repeal of the act. The Democrat-controlled Senate never considered a similar bill. The same fate is expected for the July 11 vote.
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Over the past 18 months, House committees have held a series of hearings on various PPACA provisions such as the medical loss ratio (MLR), health insurance exchanges, medical device taxes, and the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Some items such as the repeal of IPAB have actually come to a House vote (it passed) and have Senate support. Others like the MLR debate haven't advanced beyond committee discussions.
With the Supreme Court decision, the question of the hour is whether stakeholders such as hospitals, health plans, and physicians groups, which have invested valuable financial and human resources in meeting PPACA requirements, will rally around a full repeal.