- HHS is officially seeking comment on what Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations are burdensome for the health industry.
- The department says it wants to identify regulations that interfere with job growth, impose costs exceeding benefits, create serious inconsistency or are simply outdated, unnecessary or ineffective.
- Its goals in seeking comments are to stabilize the individual and small group health insurance markets, empower patients, promote consumer choice and to return regulatory authority to the states.
The request for information stems from an executive order President Donald Trump wrote on his first day in office, titled Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal.
Repeal is still pending and now in the hands of the Senate. The House passed the American Health Care Act last month, which rolls back many of the ACA’s measures. Senators, however, have indicated they may be in favor of keeping some ACA provisions, such as protection for people with pre-existing conditions.
Eliminating regulations has been a major talking point for Trump’s administration, but as with other industries, healthcare regulations that some consider a burden could still be vital to the goals of the ACA — better care that costs less and which patients like more.
And a regulation that could be a burden for one part of the industry may be a blessing for another. Payers often balk at provisions requiring them to cover people with pre-existing conditions because those people cost more to insure. Hospitals, though, usually embrace the idea because it means people are more likely to seek care and it reduces uncompensated care costs.