Affordable Care Act “Repeal” — latest news

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“Repeal” has to be in quotes because it isn’t happening. Certainly not this year.  With midterm elections next year, the odds of repeal in 2018 aren’t good.  It will hurt too many voters.

As it is, what is being done is rather inept.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a set of proposed rules for open enrollment for Marketplace health insurance for 2018 yesterday for public comment. The proposed rules use a rather flimsy excuse to cut the period for sign-up by half, from 12 weeks to six (1 November to 15 December, instead of 1 November to 31 January, the time period used for 2017).

(Please let me know if you want me to send you a copy of the CMS document.  Warning: it’s 71 pages.)

Given the inability of the Health.gov website and call center to cope with enrollment traffic in the longer time frame, this appears to be a blatant attempt to reduce the number of people who apply for health care under ACA (Obamacare).

They also are refusing to accept comments from the public online, citing a shortage of staff to handle comments filed that way — the Trump hiring freeze.

The is on top of the previously reported problem in deciding whether to continue subsidizing health insurance. Given that insurance companies file for approval of new rates in March and April for the following year, the lack of a decision means they will maximize the rates they request assuming the subsidies won’t exist.

The insurance industry has said that the lack of guidance will cause them to request increases of from 15% to 20% for individual health insurance.  The non-partisan 9781483454665_cover.inddCongressional Budget Office had previously estimated increases of 20% to 25%.

Either way, it means most consumers will see a cut in their disposable income in 2018, right before the midterm election.  Brilliant thinking on the part of Congress.    However, when you place ideology over common sense, that’s what you get.

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