Healthcare Update: “Synthetic Repeal”

 In Action Alerts

As expected, the Trump administration is continuing their quest to undo the Affordable Care Act — even after 5 different repeal plans went up in flames due to public outcry…

Andy Slavitt, former head of CMS, coined the term “synthetic repeal” to describe the variety of tactics being utilized in the latest effort to undermine our healthcare system.

This synthetic repeal combines an upcoming executive order, funding cuts in the proposed budget and tax plans, and continued sabotage of the ACA. All together, these changes could end up even more dangerous than a straight repeal bill.

Sabotage has been the administration’s guiding focus in managing the Affordable Care Act since Trump’s term began in January. Enrollment and outreach organizations have seen their funding slashed, CHIP reauthorization has still not been completed, there’s been continued anxiety around the refusal to commit to funding Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR) payments, state Medicaid waiver requests have been ignored or denied, and so on…

Coming next, Trump will destabilize the healthcare system even more using “the power of the pen” (his words…)

Details of the executive order have not been confirmed yet, but Trump is expected to change the rules around associated health plans, which would allow small businesses (and possibly individuals) to join together and purchase health insurance plans under the rules for large employers — thereby allowing them to get around ACA regulations like essential health benefits and preexisting condition protections.

This would cause further segmentation of the market and increased instability. Healthier people would flee to more skeletal plans, leaving older and sicker folks who require comprehensive benefits facing skyrocketing costs. This is a classic recipe for a “death spiral” of the individual market. And those people with association plans? they may not think they need the ACA’s comprehensive protection’s now, but one accident or illness could be disastrous in the face of limited coverage.

Here’s more info from Vox on synthetic repeal.

The GOP will not rest until they have appeased their donors and repealed major portions of the Affordable Care Act, and so we must remain ever-vigilant…

Keep watching, folks, and continue contacting your elected officials.

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