Healthcare industry continues to weigh in on ACA reform

Dive Brief:

  • The Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC) sent a letter Wednesday to President-elect Donald Trump with an outline of the immediate and long-term actions it recommends for the ACA repeal-and-replace transition process. 
  • Mary R. Grealy, president of the coalition, believes the current 2017 health insurance premiums and cost-sharing subsidies should be retained. The ACA's health insurance tax should be repealed to reduce the cost burden of consumer premiums, the letter states.
  • The recommended actions aim to "bolster the stability of the health insurance marketplace, encourage greater competition, and give all Americans enhanced choice and flexibility in their coverage."

Dive Insight:

Ready or not, the Trump administration is set to get rid of parts of the ACA early this year. Republicans contend the healthcare law is deeply flawed and must be changed. A repeal bill will reportedly be presented to Trump by February 20. The transition, however, will have an profound effect on healthcare facilities nationwide and millions of newly insured Americans. 

On Wednesday, Vice President-elect Mike Pence said Trump will issue executive orders on his first day in office in his endeavor to repeal the ACA with the goal of preventing a disruption in the marketplace, Bloomberg reported

Several industry leaders and top hospital organizations have voiced their concerns over repealing the ACA with the currently proposed plans, which could delay replacement coverage for as long as three years, costing hospitals billions of dollars.

HLC members range from hospitals and academic health centers to health plans and medical device manufacturers. And the coalition is "prepared to assist" Trump in his efforts to reform healthcare. Some the immediate actions members recommend are: Using congressional funds to stabilize the health insurance risk pool, disbursing the funds under the reinsurance program to insurers, and requiring pre-enrollment verification for special enrollment periods. Creating a permanent high risk pool is among the recommended long-term steps.

The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), which represents upwards 33,000 medical practice administrators and executives, also had something to say about the ACA. “Many elements of the ACA can be amended and improved with an infusion of new ideas," president and chief executive officer, Halee Fischer-Wright said in a statement issued earlier this week. "As Congress considers legislation that impacts the policies or financial underpinnings of the ACA, it should – above all – minimize disruptions to the nation’s healthcare delivery and payment system during any transition." 

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Filed Under: Payer Health Law Policy & Regulation