Repeal of ACA Uncertain


On March 24, 2017, Speaker Paul Ryan announced that the vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), intended to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), would not be held.  The ACA remains in full effect, and future repeal efforts are uncertain.  As Speaker Ryan said, “We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.”

As the Trump administration and the Republican leadership turn their attention toward tax reform and other measures at the top of their agenda, what is to become of the ACA?  In the short term, HHS Secretary Price may provide regulatory relief to the maximum extent permitted under the ACA, consistent with the executive order President Trump signed immediately after his inauguration.  In the long term, more comprehensive repeal-and-replace alternatives may form the basis of the next GOP attempt at health-care reform.  Additionally, President Trump could take administrative action to water down various provisions of the ACA or simply allow it to collapse.  Further, Republicans might add piecemeal repeal efforts into future legislation.  In any event, significant efforts to repeal the ACA are unlikely to surface in the next few months.

ASR will continue to monitor Congressional and regulatory efforts and alert clients accordingly.  In the meantime, employers should maintain the same ACA compliance efforts in place before the general election.  If you have questions, call ASR Health Benefits at (616) 957-1751 or (800) 968-2449.