A bill to provide health care coverage to millions of Americans was passed by Congress on Wednesday, and its passage could signal that Republicans are ready to move on from their Obamacare replacement.
The legislation, which was passed with a 217-213 vote, would give health care workers the right to opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s requirements for employer-sponsored insurance.
It also gives them the right for them to choose their own insurance plans, including those from smaller companies.
Under the legislation, workers would have the right “to opt out and to participate in a health plan offered by their own employer,” which is the only requirement that the House and Senate bills have.
They would also be able to choose from a broad range of plans offered by private insurers, but those plans would be required to cover most of their benefits, including prescription drugs and maternity care.
The new legislation also gives health care employees the option to be charged a premium on a federal health insurance plan for the coverage they want, though the federal government would still reimburse the employee for the cost.
It also gives employees the right, through the employer’s insurance, to request insurance coverage for themselves, their spouses and dependents, and would allow workers to transfer their coverage to a different employer, if the new health care bill doesn’t meet the federal health care requirements.
It would also allow workers who were uninsured to be covered by health insurance plans offered through their employers.
The House and the Senate passed their versions of the legislation last week, but there was a dramatic shift in the House’s version, which passed by a vote of 217-209.
House Speaker Paul Ryan had promised to pass the legislation by the end of the week, and Republicans had hoped to have the legislation passed by the middle of next week.
Republicans have been trying to pass a replacement to the Affordable Healthcare Act that would replace the unpopular Affordable Care Reform law.
President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans have repeatedly said that the legislation is not a plan, though they have been unable to agree on a final bill.