by Amy Gordon, Susan Nash and Maureen O’Brien
The 2011 budget agreement just passed by U.S. Congress on April 14, 2011, contains provisions that repeal and de-fund certain provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010) (PPACA).
Specifically, the “free choice voucher” program mandated under Section 10108 of PPACA has been repealed. The free choice voucher provision of PPACA required employers to provide vouchers for workers whose employer-provided health insurance premiums cost between 8 percent and 9.8 percent of the worker’s family income. The vouchers could then have been used by the worker to purchase insurance in the private market or in the exchanges.
In addition, the 2011 budget agreement rescinds $2.2 billion of the $6 billion in start-up funding provided for the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan program created under Section 1322 of PPACA and also rescinds $3.5 billion in performance bonus payments authorized in the 2009 State Children’s Health Insurance Program reauthorization.