2017 Healthcare Reform Bills & Regulation Trends To Monitor

Posted on 01-30-2017 by
Tags: legislative monitoring , legislative trends , State Net , health care reform

So Obamacare had some pluses and minuses. And within days after his inauguration, President Trump has put paid to his promise to repeal and replace it—or at least has signed an executive order beginning the process. What comes next?

“Legislative Preview: An Early Look at Opportunities & Risks for 2017,” provides opinion and insight on health care legislation and reform proposals from a panel of state and federal experts. Produced by LexisNexis® State Net®, a leader in legislative and regulatory tracking and analysis, this webinar is complimentary to receive with a simple sign-up.

Download the full webinar recording free

Americans Love Having Health Insurance

If there’s one fact that politicians of both parties agree on, it’s that the Affordable Care Act significantly reduced the number of medically uninsured. The ACAs prohibition against excluding insureds based on preexisting conditions, and of allowing young adults under age 26 to be covered on a parent’s plan, proved quite popular. President Trump has indicated a preference for universal coverage but Republican Congressional leaders have mainly spoken in terms of universal access.

They Just Don’t Want to Pay Too Much for it

Despite the name, affordability—in terms of both premiums and deductibles—was a large problem for many under Obamacare. The individual mandate was also unpopular as was the inability of many insureds to keep their former plans and doctors. So these are just a few of the problems the Republican Congress will look to fix in order to fulfill their campaign promises.

Dealing with these two issues (cost and coverage) in a way that pleases most of the public wouldn’t be easy in a vacuum. Republicans have also to deal with a self-imposed budget constraints and fiscal discipline. These are just the most obvious optics. Other problems stem from the “grand compromise” aspect of the ACA. This compromise involved many large and politically active industry stakeholders, like hospitals and insurers, who now lack any clear idea of what the framework will be under a Trump-Republican plan. According to our panelists, Republicans would be well-advised to seek Democratic support and inclusion in constructing the replacement:

“You cannot successfully implement a policy initiative if it's done on a straight party line vote. I think that's going to be the case. It was when the Affordable Care Act was enacted without any Republican support. So if it is withdrawn and overturned with only Republicans, I think you're going to find a situation that whatever results from it will not also be successful.”

Anna Davis, Director of Government Relations, National Governors Association.

Overhaul of the ACA also implicates the major expansion of Medicaid coverage that was part of this bargain. Some state legislators still propose to expand coverage (e.g., 2017 MS H 118, 2017 ND H 1259) despite the uncertainty. Other legislators have moved to withdraw their states from implementing the ACA (e.g., 2016 VA H 2103). With much to lose, not to mention the provision of block grants at stake in some replacement proposals, the states are sure to be active in shaping the way forward.

Many state legislatures already have started their new sessions. State Net can help you follow these sessions with a clear and concise chart that includes session calendars, estimated bill volumes and more.

Get the free 2017 legislative session chart

Change Can Happen Fast

The advent of a new administration—particularly one fronting majorities in Congress—presents the prospect of breathtaking change to a multitude of policies. And the states will look to supplement and respond to these initiatives with their own legislation. “Legislative Preview: An Early Look at Opportunities & Risks for 2017,” offers a timely glimpse of the shape of things to come. Get it today.

Download the full webinar recording free

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