Using the budget resolution process, Republicans will move forward with the four committees that control healthcare policy:  two in the Senate and two in the House.  This process requires only 51 senators to be present and vote, therefore eliminating the Democrat minority ability to block the repeal.  The repeal will begin in the form of a reconciliation bill which will do the following initially:

  • Eliminate the tax penalty for people who go without health insurance
  • Repeal the subsidies for private health insurance obtained through the exchanges
  • Eliminate funding for expanded Medicaid

Some of these initial legislative actions will have a delayed effective date that could be one, two, or even four years.  There will be an orderly replacement, and the great wailing and gnashing of teeth from progressives and liberals about dumping 20 million people who currently have coverage through the exchanges will not happen.

Regarding the replacement of ObamaCare, here are some things that are being considered:

  • Encouraging greater use of health savings accounts (HSA’s)
  • Allowing small businesses to form association health plans
  • A new subsidy or tax credit for consumers to help offset the cost of premiums
  • The possible return of state-run high risk pools

Additionally, the ObamaCare tax on employer-sponsored health insurance policies of 6% will be eliminated along with the awful community rating process. 

I predict Republicans will continue the policy of no pre-existing conditions and children on until age 26.  I believe the marketplace will respond with carriers entering back into the individual health insurance market and the cost of employer-sponsored healthcare will come down SIGNIFICANTLY.

This agenda will all take time to implement.  When completed, competition will return  and the sky-rocketing cost of health insurance will start to recede.  Premium increases like the 116 percent received in Arizona, the 48 percent in Missouri, and the 29 percent in Kansas will be a thing of the past.  Sanity will return to the marketplace and health insurance companies will not be treated like utilities.

 

Cary Hall

America’s Healthcare Advocate