Leaders for the health insurance industry, state insurance commissioners and brokers warned Wednesday that more health plans almost certainly will defect from Affordable Care Act marketplaces unless Congress and the Trump administration provide some concrete assurances within the next two months.
Unless the government promises to continue subsidies and other features of the law for at least another year, some states probably will not have any insurers selling health plans to individuals buying coverage on their own for 2018, the witnesses warned at a Senate hearing.
Yes, they know a clusterfuck when they see one.
While the committee’s chairman, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), was discussing how to preserve that market, the Finance Committee’s chairman, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), was espousing a different view.
In a speech before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Hatch said Congress should eliminate immediately the taxes created by the 2010 law. Some of those taxes, however, cover the cost of the insurance subsidies that 85 percent of people with ACA health plans receive.
“All the Obamacare taxes need to go as part of the repeal process,” said Hatch, who also reiterated his contention that Congress should rescind the law right away and then design a replacement plan.
At the hearing, Alexander contradicted him. “No one is talking about repealing anything until there is a concrete alternative in its place,” he said.
Right hand: "What are you doing left hand?"
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) quizzed Tavenner on whether health insurers have learned any specifics about how the White House intends to carry out an executive order that Trump signed the night of his inauguration calling for ACA rules to be waived or deferred.
To each question, Tavenner replied that the White House had conveyed no details. Insurers need predictability to keep selling individual policies and set realistic prices, she said. “We need long-term predictability.”
Try to stay healthy for the next 4 years or so.