If you’re wondering what in the world is going on with the Affordable Care Act — you’re not alone. In fact, you’re in the majority.
The status of the ACA is like a never-ending game of tug-of-war. On one side, people say that the healthcare law could be reworked and stick around. On the flip side, other folks are saying it’s only a matter of time before it’s kaput and another bill replaces it.
We’ve been keeping you in the loop on the ACA’s every move, and here is what we know right now — it’s progressing at the pace of a turtle on sedatives. Here’s the latest:
- Changes to legislation this significant and impactful take time, but the Republican-led Congress has promised to “repeal and replace” Obamacare (the ACA’s popular nickname.)
- Nothing crucial has been changed in 2017. (This means if you’re covered this year through the ACA, nothing is different and you need not fret — yet!)
- Congressional Republicans passed a budget resolution in January that called for a bill that will make major changes to the ACA. However, the big-wigs on Capitol Hill can’t seem to agree on what those reforms should be.
- The IRS will process tax returns even if taxpayers fail to check the box indicating health insurance coverage. Though the IRS had planned to automatically reject tax returns without a health insurance status report, it reversed its decision after President Trump’s executive order.
- Some health insurers, like Humana, have pulled out of the 2018 marketplace. This means it will not offer health coverage through the ACA. It was the first major insurer to take this action and experts predict others will follow suit.
- House Speaker Paul Ryan said Republicans would introduce legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare sometime after Congress returns from a weeklong recess. (It’s still up in the air when “sometime after” is or what “it” will be.)
- Republicans favor a system where people can choose and pay for the kind of coverage they want, rather than requiring everyone to purchase insurance like the ACA currently mandates. The future healthcare replacement is being hailed as “universal access” rather than “universal coverage” as its predecessor was called.
- It’s pretty much too late to repeal and replace the ACA for 2017, but insurers and individuals feel in the dark on what to expect next year and are getting antsy about how 2018 will shake out.
- At a recent press conference, White House press secretary Sean Spicer “left the door open” for President Trump to roll out his “own plan” with or without the GOP. (Translation: the POTUS will either have the support of his party or he won’t...this could get interesting.)
Unclear as it be may seem, you can rest easy for the next 10 months because most things will stay the same — for now. The ACA, as we know it though, has numbered days indeed. We don’t know when the timer on this bomb will go off, but we’ll be sure you’re the first to know when we do.
Whether you’re covered by the ACA or not, chances are you’re paying more than you want to for healthcare. The good news? There’s something you can do about it. State-based mandates drive up the cost of healthcare — for everyone. Join us in fighting against them so you can spend more time preparing for what’s coming and less time worrying about how you’ll pay for coverage.