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Update on the American Health Care Act

The House Ways and Means Committee completed their protracted markup of the tax provisions of the American Health Care Act around 4:30 a.m. passing the bill out of committee along party lines. Having already debated the bill and a string of over 100 Democratic amendments for over 24 hours, the marathon session continues in the Energy and Commerce Committee. After both committees complete their markup the bill is expected to move next week to the House Budget Committee before making it to the House Floor. A Congressional Budget Office score is anticipated before consideration in the House Budget Committee.

The National Rural Health Association is concerned the American Health Care Act does not address access to care in rural America, particularly the rural hospital closure crisis that has already devastated far too many rural communities and is threatening the communities supported by the 673 rural hospitals vulnerable to closure.  Eighty rural hospitals have closed since 2010 and the hospitals vulnerable to closure are one third of the remaining rural hospitals. A rural hospital closure threatens not only the physical and mental health care of the community, but also the economic viability of the community. NRHA applauds Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R–OK–2) for raising the issue of rural health clinics and continued payment cuts resulting in rural hospitals struggling to keep their doors open in the Energy and Commerce Committee debate this morning.

Today in the Senate, the nomination of Seema Verma is expected to clear the next procedural hurdle in the confirmation process, clearing cloture. After clearing cloture, only a final vote by the full Senate on the nomination remains.

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