Some states are considering implementing their own Obamacare individual mandates; a federal judge blocks a rule making it easier for employers to opt out of contraceptive coverage; Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, will miss tax bill vote, but the GOP should have enough votes.
The Republican tax bill includes a provision that eliminates the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s individual mandate, but states may step in to fill the void. According to Politico, some blue states are considering implementing their own coverage requirements. However, it may be a politically risky move with 2018 being a big election year. Some of the states considering such a move include California, Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey.
The Trump administration’s rule to make it easier for employers to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage, which was mandated under the ACA, has been blocked by a federal court. The judge said the rule contradicted the text of the ACA, which does not allow federal agencies to create “sweeping exemptions” to the law’s requirements, reported The New York Times. The judge also said the Trump administration did not follow proper procedures, since the law requires a public comment period before regulations that have the force of law can be adopted.
Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, has returned home to continue treatment for a brain tumor, and will miss the vote on the Republican tax bill. CNN reported that the final vote on the Republican tax bill, which has implications for healthcare, is expected this week, but even without McCain, the bill is expected to pass. Other Republican holdouts, including Senators Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, and Marco Rubio, R-Florida, both announced on Friday that they would vote for the bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can afford to lose 2 votes, and with McCain out, only 1 senator can vote “no” if the GOP hopes to pass the bill.