Choice Stories

April 19, 2017

An Update on the Proposed ACA Repeal

An Update on the Proposed ACA Repeal

While the country waits to see what, if anything, members of Congress can agree upon as it relates to a new approach for the repair or repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Kaiser Family Foundation’s latest poll shows three quarters of the public – including a majority of President Donald Trump’s supporters – want legislators to try to make the ACA work. In the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll survey, fielded after the March 24 cancellation of a vote on the American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA), 75 percent of participants said President Trump, his administration, and Congress should do what they can to make the original health care law – the ACA – work. Just one in five (19 percent), including 38 percent of Republicans, believe the Administration should allow the ACA to fail so Congress can replace it later. Making the current law work is favored by a majority of all parties – 89 percent of Democrats, 78 percent of Independents, and 51 percent of Republicans – including 54 percent of Trump supporters. The poll also found 64 percent of the public believes it’s a good thing the replacement bill, the AHCA, failed to reach the floor for a full vote by the House of Representatives. Fifty-two percent said they were “relieved” Republicans were unable to pass the AHCA, while 44 percent were “happy” the bill didn’t get a vote. That compares to 40 percent who said they were “disappointed” and 20 percent who were “angry” about the failed effort. So, what does all of this mean about the ACA’s future? The House adjourned in April for an Easter break, but there were reports across multiple media that Freedom Caucus chair, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) was discussing two options with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) during the congressional recess. “We’re very close,” Meadows told the Washington, D.C., newspaper, The Hill, which reports on Capitol Hill news. “The biggest thing for all of us is we want to make sure we don’t just have repeal, but we have a replacement that drives down insurance premiums.” The Los Angeles Times reported on April 11th that health insurers are looking for more certainty about ACA subsidies, and whether the government plans to maintain them, before deciding whether to participate in individual market exchanges for 2018. While the Department of Health & Human Services has said it is not changing the formula that would maintain cost-sharing payments to reduce participants’ premiums, there is still pending litigation about the subsidies. Insurers need to file their rate requests for 2018 by June 21, 2017. Government funding for the ACA is set to expire on April 28. That will be followed on May 22 by a status update from the House of Representatives and the White House on the lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals about premium subsidy payments. To stay up to date on possible ACA changes – or further action on the AHCA – talk with your employee benefits broker. If you don’t already have a broker, we’ll help you find a CaliforniaChoice broker to speak with about your group’s health insurance needs.

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