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What is the future of the health care bill in the Senate?

Right before the House vote on the new health care legislation, the Senate approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill that will finance the government until September and prevent a government shutdown. The approval of the spending bill allowed the House to safely pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA).

While House Speaker Paul Ryan is hopeful that the Senate can pass a bill meant to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in a couple months, this is highly unlikely. The Senate, which moves more slowly than the House, will now begin work on creating a health care plan that will be acceptable by all the factions of the Republican party. This could mean that the Senate will need to write a new bill all together.

Because the members of the GOP are divided on the issue of a new health care bill it may prove to be a challenging task to pass it. Furthermore, the Senate needs a 51-vote majority to pass the bill, which allows them only two defections. The Senate is expected to take until August to push a bill through with the needed support. When the Senate produces a new or updated bill it will return to the House for a vote.

Until the Senate and House agree on a new health care bill, the ACA remains in place. Thus, those selling and buying health insurance will be adhering to the rules and regulations already in place.