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As the weeks go by and we continue to wait for substantive Affordable Care Act (ACA) “repeal/replace” legislation and regulations, January 31 marked the end of the 2017 Open Enrollment Period, necessitating a look into how the ACA is faring outside of the political sphere.
“Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.” ―William Arthur Ward
It’s becoming clear here in DC that legislative repeal of ObamaCare may actually not happen. As many as nine GOP Senators are casting doubt on “repeal and replace” and may insist on both concurrently; only three defections are needed for repeal to be blocked. This raises the question: what could Trump do to ObamaCare himself, day one, without Congress? If you care about the coverage of 30 to 52 million Americans, the answers are scary.
Hmm, you’re asking what will the Trump de-regulators do to Medicare Advantage? Given the confusion about ObamaCare non-replacement for three years and the selection of a Medicaid maven for Administrator, we haven’t heard much about Medicare Advantage and Part D. However, Trump said he wants a list of wasteful and unnecessary regulation. Even with that, we may not see a lot of actual regulatory change during 2017 in either of these programs. Changing regulations in a major way takes too much time to propose, review, and finalize anything of substance in a short period. However, there are other actions the new Administrator can take. First and foremost, de-regulators are interested in slowing the process or moderating its effects, so here are some potential actions.
Despite the Trump administration having yet to take office, Congress kept its promise to get the Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal ball rolling on day one. On January 3, 2017, the first day back for Congress, the chair of the Senate’s Budget Committee introduced a budget resolution that directs several committees in both the House and Senate to begin work on the ACA repeal. Specifically, the resolution calls for the committees to submit recommendations to reduce the deficit by $1 billion in the next decade. So what happens next?