August 1, 2016
By Michael Jordan
Healthcare Reform After the Presidential Race: What Are the Odds?
No matter who becomes our 45 th president, brokers should be aware of how the results could impact U.S. healthcare benefits. In this issue of the MagnaCare Labor Bulletin, we’ll take a look at the potentially significant changes in store for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the healthcare market.
A Democrat Victory
If Hilary Clinton takes office, she has indicated that she will preserve the ACA, but make other changes, such as repealing the Cadillac Tax and expanding the types of families who qualify for subsidies.
Clinton has also stated that she would establish the public option beginning at the state level using existing provisions of the ACA – reviving an option that was dropped from the ACA during the drafting and debate era of 2009-2010.
The public option could create competition to the commercial insurance industry via a government-run alternative, perhaps using Medicaid-level reimbursement rates for doctors and hospitals.
Employee Benefit News
Los Angeles Times
A Republican Victory
For years, the ACA has been deeply unpopular with Republicans. Experts claim, however, that a Republican president would face an uphill battle persuading Congress to repeal the ACA.
A key aspect of the Republican agenda is to allow health insurance to be sold across state lines. This means an individual or a business would be permitted to purchase insurance in a given state, even if they reside or operate in another state.
Five states—Maine, Rhode Island, Wyoming, Georgia and Kentucky—have already gone beyond this and enacted some type of state law allowing health insurance to be purchased out-of- state. Large employers with 500 or more employees, meanwhile, are not regulated by state laws when it comes to purchasing insurance, but are covered under the federal ERISA law administered by the Department of Labor.
Recently, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told the New York Times that, by the end of his first 100 days, plans to repeal the ACA would be underway.
New York Times
The Final Count
Regardless of who wins in November, experts believe that states will receive more latitude with how they implement the ACA at the state level. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the ACA permits a state to apply for a State Innovation Waiver to pursue innovative strategies for providing its residents with access to high quality, affordable health insurance, while retaining the basic protections of the ACA.
Click here to view Michael’s video on the changes that can be expected with a new president.