Calls come for Delay on Repeal of Obama-Care

Hello all,
As I’ve told many of you, my clients who are contacting me regarding their insurance coverage with the new administration vowing to repeal it, we are likely looking at a ‘repeal & delay’ result.  Having spoken with various colleagues and read what I can from industry insiders I’ve told my clients that it is unlikely that they will see any changes in 2017 until the ACA’s replacement is cobbled together. Now calls come for delay on repeal of Obama-Care
 
There are many reasons I’ve come to this conclusion mostly because of the investment that has been made in the program.  I’m talking about the investment beyond the monetary.  I’m speaking to the investment made by carriers in retooling their operations to accommodate the ACA, the state government’s underestimating the growth of Medi-CAL by 1.09- billion.  There are many Americans who are in the middle of an extended medical treatment for cancer or kidney disease; if the ACA is suddenly repealed what happens to them and their treatment regimen?
 
It will be easy to repeal the ACA, on the books/for the record, but the devil will surely be in the details and while that is being figured out things will essentially go unchanged.  Here is an excerpt from California Broker Magazine where another group, Underwriters, is calling for a delay.  Bottom line there are many ‘investors’ in the ACA that will delay any automatic, or even sudden death of the program.  In fact some say things may stay this way into late 2018.
 
So as I’ve speculated before, look for “Repeal & Delay” of the ACA.  This will allow politicians to keep their promises without setting the health care world on fire.
-TSR
 
Health Underwriters Groups Calls for Delay on Some Repeal

The board of the National Association of Health Underwriters wants health insurance reform to proceed at an orderly pace and said that repeal of tax credits should be delayed until 2019 to allow for stability in the marketplace.

“Our industry is in for quite a ride as this new term gets underway,” the board of the state association noted in an email on Jan. 24. “All indications, including one of the first executive orders to carry Potus 45’s signature, are that the ACA will most definitely be undergoing swift and significant changes.”

The email further noted:

The National Association of Health Underwriters is working with House and Senate leadership, and committees of jurisdiction, on how to create a sustainable insurance marketplace that controls cost but also allows citizens to be protected and retain coverage.

NAHU’s position is that any efforts for the repeal of tax credits, cost-sharing tax credits, tax credit to territories and the small business tax credit be delayed to January 2019 in order to allow time for a replacement mechanism to be put in place to prevent a destabilization of the market.

Members of the California Association of Underwriters believe it is critical, as part of any health care reform at the federal level, to ensure that licensed agents are able to continue to help clients and consumers find and keep quality affordable health care now and in the future. California has its own statutory framework – distinct and apart from the federal law. California law will stand, even if the federal laws are changed, replaced or repealed, unless the federal statute also dictates a dismantling of California law.

Trump Order Fuels Uncertainty

President Trump’s executive order instructing federal agencies to grant relief to constituencies affected by the Affordable Care Act has begun to reverberate throughout the nation’s health-care system, injecting further uncertainty into an already unsettled insurance landscape, reported the Washington Post.

The political signal of the order, which Trump signed just hours after being sworn into office, was clear: Even before the Republican-led Congress acts to repeal the 2010 law, the new administration will move swiftly to unwind as many elements as it can on its own — elements that have changed how 20 million Americans get health coverage and what benefits insurers must offer some of their customers.

But the practical implications of Trump’s action on Friday are harder to decipher. Its language instructs all federal agencies to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from or delay” any part of the law that imposes a financial or regulatory burden on those affected by it. That would cover consumers, doctors, hospitals and other providers, as well as insurers and drug companies.

The prospect of what could flow from pulling back or eliminating administrative rules — including no longer enforcing the individual mandate, which requires Americans to get coverage or pay an annual penalty, and ending health plans’ “essential benefits” — could affect how many people sign up on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces before open enrollment ends Jan. 31 for 2017 coverage, as well as how many companies decide to participate next year.

Robert Laszewski, president of the consulting firm Health Policy and Strategy Associates, called the executive order a “bomb” lobbed into the law’s “already shaky” insurance market. Given the time it will take Republicans to fashion a replacement, he expects that federal and state insurance exchanges will continue to operate at least through 2018.

The entire article can be read at: http://www.calbrokermag.com/insurance-insider-newsletter/health-underwriters-groups-calls-for-delay-on-some-repeal/#healthnews

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