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Now that major healthcare reform is off the table for the short-term, legislators and the Trump administration have started taking a series of individual actions to achieve their goals (some of which are completely opposite).
Addressing ACA’s Weaknesses
Senators Lamar Alexander (R) and Patty Murray (D), whose bi-partisan effort to address key weaknesses in the ACA was pushed aside during the Graham-Cassidy debate, have re-activated their talks which would address two immediate problems, cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments and high-risk pools. Our article last month discusses this development in more detail.
Weakening the ACA
In a completely opposite direction, the Trump administration seems to be doing everything it can to weaken the ACA. The administration has:
The steps the administration is taking to undermine the ACA could lead to tremendous volatility in the individual market if there are no meaningful reforms to fill the void. The administration may be playing with fire. An implosion of the individual market, precipitated by the administration’s actions, will cause millions of individuals to lose coverage and may negatively affect many more. As a result, single-payer proposals could see a groundswell of support from a public that thinks a market-based system can’t work.
We all can agree that a single-payer scenario represents an existential threat to our business. With luck, bi-partisan efforts to temporarily shore-up the individual market will prevail, giving lawmakers the time they need to craft workable healthcare reform.
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