Now that Donald Trump has been sworn in as the new President of the United States, many people are wondering what changes are ahead. We’ve heard a lot of talk – particularly about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare.
Congress already set the wheels in motion to repeal the ACA through a legislative process known as budget reconciliation. To better understand what that is and what it means, the American Hospital Association put together a video explaining the process. You can watch it by clicking here or on the picture below.
A recent New York Times article asked the question, what does budget reconciliation mean for the ACA?
Republicans hope to use the fast-track procedure of budget reconciliation to repeal or nullify provisions of the law that affect spending and taxes. They could, for example, eliminate penalties imposed on people who go without insurance and on larger employers who do not offer coverage to employees.
They could use a reconciliation bill to eliminate tens of billions of dollars provided each year to states that have expanded eligibility for Medicaid. And they could use it to repeal subsidies for private health insurance coverage obtained through the public marketplaces known as exchanges.
Republicans could also repeal a number of taxes and fees imposed on certain high-income people and on health insurers and manufacturers of brand-name prescription drugs and medical devices: tax increases that help offset the cost of the insurance coverage expansions.
According to USA Today, “Repealing the Affordable Care Act’s insurance subsidies and mandate to buy insurance would increase the number of uninsured people by 18 million in the following open enrollment year and by 32 million by 2026, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said.”
CNBC quoted Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican, as saying he was unsure that Senate Republicans will be able to push through a controversial budget reconciliation proposal like the one repealing Obamacare with just 51 votes. “We are going to need Democrats to help us,” he said.
Share your thoughts on how you see the next several months playing out and whether you think budget reconciliation will have an affect on health and healthcare in Arizona. Highlighting the health issues that are important to the people of our state is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!