Trump Administration’s First 100 Days: Update on the Affordable Care Act

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Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Now that Congress has left Washington for its annual spring recess, it is a good time to take stock of the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Advocates have made their voices heard and, for the moment, repeal and replace is off the table. 

To catch you up and keep you informed, CFYM is providing summaries of some of the more recent articles and blog postings published before the recess.

For those seeking in-depth analysis, CFYM suggests an article by Andrew Rosenberg and Billy Wynne of the D.C. policy firm Thorn Run Partners: With ‘Repeal, Replace’ in the Ashes, Democrats Can ‘Repair’.  This article provides concrete suggestions about how Congress can move past the usual rhetoric and repair the Affordable Care Act to address voters’ concerns about the inflationary aspects of healthcare and lack of insurance plans in many markets.

But what are the chances of a bipartisan solution that puts the lives of American above politics? In Overnight Healthcare: GOP healthcare talks stall (April 5, 2017), The Hill reported that Rep. McHenry (R-NC) told reporters that the House Freedom Caucus (a group of conservative and libertarian members of Congress) was looking for a solution that would allow states to apply for waivers to repeal the very popular pre-existing conditions benefit. Rep. Patrick McHenry, the chief deputy whip in the U.S. House, described the conservatives’ proposals to reach a compromise as a “bridge too far.”

So where does that leave House leadership?  According to the April 5 The Hill post, Ryan takes back seat to Pence in latest ObamaCare effort, the Vice President is not having any more success than the Speaker did in finding common ground between Republican centrists and conservatives. In this same post, Rep. McHenry suggested that everyone needs a cooling-off period—and he gets his wish with the start of the spring recess.

At this point, is there any chance of addressing health care reform? Rosenberg and Wynne suggest, “Under normal circumstances, it might not make for good politics for either Senate Democrats or Republicans to take on bipartisan ACA reform. But this year, with ACA all but dead, a looming coverage risk for millions of Americans, and a non-ideological president desperate for closure on this issue, the chance to establish a de facto bipartisan truce on health care reform is too important to ignore.”

CFYM couldn’t agree more. Let’s hope this is the year that Washington is able to put aside political differences and advance legislation that shores up the health care plans; retains hard-won mental health benefits; and increases access to treatment options that enable individuals to truly lead lives of wellness.
To view an infographic on the ‘winners and losers’ in this battleground, check out the April 1, 2017 post from Modern Healthcare

Your Turn

  • What suggestions do you have for Congress to repair and shore up our healthcare insurance system?

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