Health Law Uncertainties Are Starting to Hurt Millions

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Health Law Uncertainties Are Starting to Hurt Millions

Uncer­tain­ties are never good for the insur­ance indus­try. The cur­rent debate sur­round­ing the Afford­able Care Act and the new Amer­i­can Health Care Act is cre­at­ing uncer­tain­ties that may soon jeop­ar­dize the whole health­care indus­try. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illi­nois is com­mit­ted to a return to the Oba­macare exchange next year, but the same can’t be said for other insurers.

This state of limbo is caus­ing more prob­lems than antic­i­pated. In fact, health care uncer­tain­ties are start­ing to hurt mil­lions of Amer­i­cans, even before the new AHCA is signed.

Oba­macare in Trouble.

The Afford­able Care Act is clearly in trou­ble. The series of uncer­tain­ties that have been cov­er­ing ACA now leave many coun­ties with no health plans to sell in 2018. Insur­ance com­pa­nies are pulling out of these coun­ties, cit­ing the uncer­tainty around the Repub­li­cans’ health care bill and the future of health­care law in gen­eral as the rea­sons for the move.

Repub­li­cans’ efforts to drive Oba­macare into col­lapse is becom­ing increas­ingly suc­cess­ful. Unfor­tu­nately, it is also caus­ing mil­lions of Amer­i­cans to lose access to afford­able health insur­ance in just a few months. This is a sit­u­a­tion no one can afford to face, espe­cially with­out a new health care bill to replace the ACA.

The lat­est sta­tis­tics by the Robert Wood John­son Foun­da­tion reveal 47 coun­ties with zero health insur­ance plan to sell. While Blue Cross and Blue Shield Illi­nois is com­mit­ted to mak­ing a return next year, com­pa­nies like Anthem and Blue Cross Blue Shield Kansas City are exit­ing their respec­tive mar­kets. Anthem is leav­ing Ohio with one fewer option, while Blue Cross Blue Shield Kansas City has pulled out already.

The Polit­i­cal Incentives

It is easy to see why Repub­li­cans don’t want to fix the prob­lems with ACA. Repub­li­cans and the Health and Human Ser­vices Depart­ment of this admin­is­tra­tion are using the fail­ing health insur­ance mar­ket as an excuse to repeal Oba­macare. The approach is a smart one, at least from a polit­i­cal standpoint.

With­out a clear replace­ment for Oba­macare, how­ever, this will only lead to more prob­lems. The 23 mil­lion Amer­i­cans that will lose health care under the House ver­sion of AHCA may even lose their health­care before the new health­care bill passes the Senate.

A Push for More Certainty

What the Trump admin­is­tra­tion and Con­gress need to do is cre­ate a cli­mate of cer­tainty. The health law and pol­icy depart­ment of Hof­s­tra Law recently com­piled stud­ies that sug­gest plug­ging the ACA while for­mu­lat­ing a bet­ter, stronger AHCA are the things to do to reverse the dam­ages being done today. Stu­dents who are study­ing for their health law degree are using the cur­rent health­care debate as the per­fect case study.

It is also unfor­tu­nate to note that such an ideal sit­u­a­tion may never be imple­mented. As men­tioned before, the polit­i­cal incen­tive of a fail­ing Oba­macare is too good for the Repub­li­cans to miss. We can only wait and see as Repub­li­cans try to for­mu­late a bet­ter AHCA and get it passed as quickly as pos­si­ble, regard­less of the con­se­quences that come with the new health­care bill.

Uncertainties are never good for the insurance industry. The current debate surrounding the Affordable Care Act and the new American Health Care Act is creating uncertainties that may soon jeopardize the whole healthcare industry. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is committed to a return to the Obamacare exchange next year, but the same can’t be said for other insurers.

This state of limbo is causing more problems than anticipated. In fact, health care uncertainties are starting to hurt millions of Americans, even before the new AHCA is signed.

Obamacare in Trouble.

The Affordable Care Act is clearly in trouble. The series of uncertainties that have been covering ACA now leave many counties with no health plans to sell in 2018. Insurance companies are pulling out of these counties, citing the uncertainty around the Republicans’ health care bill and the future of healthcare law in general as the reasons for the move.

Republicans’ efforts to drive Obamacare into collapse is becoming increasingly successful. Unfortunately, it is also causing millions of Americans to lose access to affordable health insurance in just a few months. This is a situation no one can afford to face, especially without a new health care bill to replace the ACA.

The latest statistics by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reveal 47 counties with zero health insurance plan to sell. While Blue Cross and Blue Shield Illinois is committed to making a return next year, companies like Anthem and Blue Cross Blue Shield Kansas City are exiting their respective markets. Anthem is leaving Ohio with one fewer option, while Blue Cross Blue Shield Kansas City has pulled out already.

The Political Incentives

It is easy to see why Republicans don’t want to fix the problems with ACA. Republicans and the Health and Human Services Department of this administration are using the failing health insurance market as an excuse to repeal Obamacare. The approach is a smart one, at least from a political standpoint.

Without a clear replacement for Obamacare, however, this will only lead to more problems. The 23 million Americans that will lose health care under the House version of AHCA may even lose their healthcare before the new healthcare bill passes the Senate.

A Push for More Certainty

What the Trump administration and Congress need to do is create a climate of certainty. The health law and policy department of Hofstra Law recently compiled studies that suggest plugging the ACA while formulating a better, stronger AHCA are the things to do to reverse the damages being done today. Students who are studying for their health law degree are using the current healthcare debate as the perfect case study.

It is also unfortunate to note that such an ideal situation may never be implemented. As mentioned before, the political incentive of a failing Obamacare is too good for the Republicans to miss. We can only wait and see as Republicans try to formulate a better AHCA and get it passed as quickly as possible, regardless of the consequences that come with the new healthcare bill.