Insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act
According to the Commonwealth Fund, “the Affordable Care Act transformed the market for individual health insurance by changing how insurance is sold and by subsidizing coverage for millions of new purchasers.” From 2014-2016, these reforms largely had a positive impact on insurance companies. 20 million people gained health insurance, healthcare costs have slowed lowering the cost of hiring new workers, and participating insurers created strong competition, both on and off the ACA exchanges. However, recently there have been some negative effects. Premiums have increased more than originally expected, newer insurers that focus on the individual market have failed, and United Healthcare (the largest insurer in the US) announced that it would be withdrawing from most of the Affordable Care Acts’ exchange markets because of financial losses.
Hospitals will suffer considerable losses under the Trump administration if repeal occurs. With the Affordable Care Act, the uninsured rate has dramatically declined meaning that healthcare providers are serving more insured people. As for pharmaceutical companies, it would be a boost to have regulations and caps against them not pass under the Trump administration. As mentioned above, insurers aren’t quite sure how this will all affect them. The Affordable Care Act allows more people to use their plans (if repealed, they will lose millions of customers), however, some major hits have occurred from the act as well.
How do Republicans plan to repeal?
The president-elect plans to “repeal and replace” as soon as he takes office. This means that Republicans have to rally support from the senate to get the majority to pass this repeal and replace plan. They also need to begin drafting up the actual replacement plan that will get the support they need for it to pass into law.
What if Republicans aren’t ready?
During his press conference, Trump explained that he was “doing democrats a favor” by repealing the Affordable Care Act. He went on to say that 2017 would ruin the act and it would end up need replacing anyways. Once again, whether you agree or not, does not change the fact that most Republicans in the senate are just not ready to go forth with Trump’s plan. According to CNN, Congressional Republicans are “nowhere close to proposing a plan to replace the sweeping healthcare law.” Not only that but they aren’t close to coming to a new law that would be able to be voted on, withstand a Senate filibuster, and be sent to the White House for Trump’s signature.”
Despite all of these facts, change still seems to be coming to the healthcare industry.