Interesting times…. The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) and its volumes of regulations have been the law of the land since 2010. Implementation was sometimes messy (the exchange websites), confusing (1095-C coding), and unreliable (late December extensions of filing deadlines). However, it is the law, and employers have spent billions of dollars to comply. While our clients continue to suffer sticker shock during each renewal period, they have made significant investments in compliance, and they worry about new costly disruptions.
Republicans’ message since 2010 has been “repeal and replace.” On November 8, they were given the chance to do just that.
The question is what does “repeal and replace” look like and how would it affect employers. The lead player is certainly President-elect Trump who provides broad outlines for reform. Speaker Ryan is likely the power broker for reform: he has already passed several House bills addressing reform measures. Additionally, he has published a comprehensive legislative blueprint “A Better Way.”
While we may expect broad policy changes over time, the most likely immediate changes may be those that all the players agree on:
While any change is disruptive, most of “replace and repeal” looks toward less Government regulation resulting in fewer reporting requirements, fewer mandates, and more choice of coverage. All of this is geared towards reducing costs, which helps businesses. Now the devil is in the details and in the new political leadership in our Nation’s Capital.Ann Duke, Esquire General Counsel Creative Benefits Inc.