ACA Repeal and Replace Process Gets Underway

moran4This post contributed by ACR Executive Vice President of Government Relations, Economics and Health Policy Cindy Moran.

President Donald Trump is working to make good on his campaign promise to repeal and replace Obamacare as defined in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Trump has issued an executive order urging federal agencies, within the limits of current law, to scale back regulations created by the ACA. And other options are open to the Trump administration before Congress addresses his pledge to repeal and replace the program.

Actions could start at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Internal Revenue Service if they no longer pursue enforcement of the individual mandate that requires most legal residents to have health insurance. The requirement is widely seen by ACA supporters as essential for generating enough revenue from healthy Americans to offset the costs of treating people who require care. The administration could also eliminate or elect to not enforce the employer mandate that requires businesses to provide insurance coverage as long as they have greater than 50 employees.

Trump could also instruct the Justice Department to drop the Obama administration’s appeal of House v. Burwell. A district court judge previously ruled that many expenditures not formally approved by Congress to reimburse health insurers for covering the working poor were unconstitutional.

With respect to essential health benefits, HHS might decide to lessen the minimum types of services insurers are required to provide patients via new regulations that would ultimately be supported by the Trump administration.

Again, this process is just beginning. The ACR continues to work with those in Congress and regulatory agencies to ensure that radiology’s voice is heard throughout the effort to potentially repeal and replace the ACA.

We also continue to address MACRA, clinical decision support implementation, continued full coverage for cancer screening exams and preventative care, Medicare CT colonography coverage, and a host of radiology-specific issues on Capitol Hill and in state houses nationwide.

The ACR will continue to inform members of developments regarding ACA repeal and replace or any other issue affecting radiology in the weeks, months and years ahead.

In the meantime, please monitor the Advocacy in Action e-newsletter and the Advocacy section of the ACR website for additional information on all these pending efforts.

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