United States

Affordable Care Act repeal efforts discontinued by Congress


On March 6, 2017, the Republication party released an initial draft of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in an effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But due to opposition, the repeal efforts have been discontinued by Congress.

The AHCA represented a shift in health care policy to allow more choice by individuals, employers, and states and fewer mandates by the federal government. In particular, the AHCA would have ended the tax penalties on individuals for not having health insurance. In addition, it would have eliminated the penalties on employers with at least 50 full-time employees that do not offer health insurance to their employees. The AHCA also would have repealed various other taxes on both individuals and businesses.

From the beginning, the AHCA had both supporters and opponents within Congress. However, support for the AHCA declined after the Congressional Budget Office estimated that insurance premiums would increase in the near term and approximately 24 million people would be uninsured in 2026.

Various amendments were made to the AHCA to garner support from more members of Congress, and the House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on the AHCA on March24, 2017. But shortly before the vote, the Republications, in conjunction with President Trump, decided to withdraw the bill due to lack of support. Congress has decided to focus its attention on other national issues and postpone indefinitely any further discussions about health care reform.

Consequently, the Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land and both individuals and businesses must comply with the law to avoid potential tax penalties for noncompliance. 

Jill Harris

Senior Director

Jill helps businesses with planning and compliance for employee welfare and retirement plans. She can be reached at jill.harris@rsmus.com.

Areas of focus: Washington National TaxAffordable Care Act