Newtown Sq, PA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/24/2017 -- The new administration in the White House, has made health care a contentious topic.
There are signals coming from the White House that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be repealed and replaced. However, that task might be difficult to accomplish given the complexity of ACA. Americans will have to wait and see what the Republican health care alternative will look like and how it will impact their lives.
The Republican Congress will most likely have to use budget reconciliation — a process allowing Congress to order a committee to draft legislation to create legislation that changes the existing law's debt limiting provisions, spending or taxing. If that is the case, it would likely be done with two budget reconciliation bill in 2017. The first bill will possibly repeal the ACA's spending and taxing provisions. The second bill will outline tax reforms and other fiscal components. This repeal and replace plan is intended to be introduced step-by-step by 2019.
The cautious approach to repealing the ACA may take up to two years, or in light of the urgency in the White House, healthcare reform may take place in 2017 following a first budget reconciliation bill. The first budget reconciliation has been held over until March.
Budget reconciliation is the only path that Republicans can take in order to repeal and replace ACA. A simple Senate majority of 51 votes would be enough to incrementally replace the ACA. A complete repeal would require 60 Senate votes.
The question still remains what would replace the ACA? Whose philosophy would form the underpinnings of a new system? How would that system be implemented? How would it ultimately work? How much involvement would the government have?
Current speculation suggests that a replacement for the ACA would be an amalgamation of Paul Ryan's House GOP plan and Tom Price's Empowering Patients First Act first introduced in 2015. These two plans are somewhat similar, but do have some differences. What plan or combination of plans will the Republicans settle for as a replacement for the ACA is still unknown. Until the, the ACA remains in effect.
"The main thing to remember is that if you need health insurance, now is the time to take action and get what you need at a price that suits your budget and then hang on to it if it suits you," said Clelland Green, RHU, CEO of Benepath. "The industry is very competitive and in the face of pending changes, you are likely to find even more pricing flexibility."