What are the chances the ACA will be repealed, modified or changed significantly, in 2017?

November 9, 2016 by Antonio Arias, MBA, CHBME

Topics: Practice Management, Medical Billing Company

With the dust settling on the most contentious election in recent memory it’s time to sort out what the new political landscape will mean for healthcare, namely how will the Affordable Care Act (ACA) be affected.

Last week, Donald Trump promised to immediately repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act if elected. “When we win on Nov. 8 and elect a Republican Congress, we will be able to immediately repeal and replace Obamacare. We have to do it,” Trump said. However, even with a republican president and both the House and Senate controlled by Republicans the chances appear slim that the ACA will be repealed as the Senate lacks a super majority. A narrow majority GOP Congress could still use a process known as “reconciliation” to repeal financial components (i.e. individual mandate penalties), so it seems likely that there will be some changes in the coming year.

President-elect Trump admittedly has lacked details on many of his policies, so it's unclear whether or how a Trump administration would provide subsidies to help people buy or keep coverage, but his campaign does offer a summary on his position on healthcare reform. Below are some of the reforms to be considered by congress in his policy paper.

Trump Healthcare Reform Ideas

  1. Completely repeal Obamacare and start over. Eliminate the individual mandate. No person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to.
  2. Modify existing law that inhibits the sale of health insurance across state lines. As long as the plan complies with at least one state’s requirements, any vendor ought to be able to offer insurance in any state.
  3. Allow individuals to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns under the current tax system. Businesses are allowed to take these deductions so why wouldn’t Congress allow individuals the same exemptions? Allow the free market to provide insurance coverage opportunities to companies and individuals, also make sure that no one slips through the cracks simply because they cannot afford insurance.
  4. Allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Contributions into HSAs should be tax-free and should be allowed to accumulate. These funds can be used by any member of a family without penalty. The flexibility and security provided by HSAs will be of great benefit to all who participate.
  5. Require price transparency from all healthcare providers, especially doctors and healthcare organizations like clinics and hospitals. Individuals should be able to shop to find the best prices for procedures, exams or any other medical-related procedure.
  6. Block-grant Medicaid to the states. Nearly every state already offers benefits beyond what is required in the current Medicaid structure. The state governments know their people best and can manage the administration of Medicaid far better without federal overhead.
  7. Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products. Allowing consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas will bring more options to consumers

While the immediate future of healthcare is unclear our team of medical billing experts will monitor these events closely and keep you up to date on changes that may impact your revenue.

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