President Trump's Taking on the ACA
On Tuesday, February 28, I had the high privilege and distinct honor of not introducing the President of the United States, but rather taking over Assurance’s Twitter feed (@AssuranceATeam) in order to live-tweet updates of the President’s first address to a joint session of Congress. And while he only spoke on healthcare for a few minutes, we got a clearer idea of what the administration’s priorities are with respect to the ACA replacement plan. Those priorities now appear to be lining up with the plans starting to come out of Congress.
We’ve talked about some of those plans in my last blog post. On Friday, February 24, a House “draft discussion” bill – legislative text that hasn’t been introduced to the entire House for comment – leaked to the press. It shed light on some key details employers have been waiting for, but was silent on others. There was speculation that as a draft, it may have been superseded by the President’s plan, but his speech clarified many points in line with the draft. Key takeaways from both are:
- There will very likely be a tax credit system to help individuals purchase health insurance if they don’t have access to employer coverage.
- Medicaid expansion will eventually be rolled back.
- HSAs will get expanded and enhanced.
- There won’t be either an individual or an employer mandate.
- The ACA’s taxes will be repealed.
What still hasn’t been answered is how all of this will be paid for. The draft bill tweaked the Cadillac tax, but that alone won’t be enough to pay for everything, and the states will be looking for help for people who will lose coverage if Medicaid expansion is rolled back. I suspect part of the funding for the replacement plan may come via tax reform, the other major initiative Congress will be working on this year, and no real details on that have been revealed.
So where does this all leave us? It’s now March, and the clock is ticking. Congress has a hyper-aggressive schedule for this year, and ACA repeal and replace is the first item on their list. I expect action this month from Congress to finalize the repeal and replacement legislation (likely accomplished with separate bills). I still think it’s realistic for these bills to be voted on this summer, and we’ll see where we go from there. Until then – stay tuned! There’s much work left to be done, and we’ll be keeping you up-to-date on it all.
For a deeper dive into all that's going on with the ACA, join me for ACA Trumped - Part 2 webinar on March 29.
- ACA: Is it the Beginning of the End?
- ACA Trumped Webinar Replay
- ACA Trumped Webinar Q&A
- Compliance Support Page
Information contained herein is not intended to constitute tax or legal advice and should not be used for purposes of evading or avoiding otherwise applicable regulatory responsibilities as issued by the federal or state government(s) and/or taxes owed under the Internal Revenue Code. You are encouraged to seek advice from your legal or tax advisor based on your circumstances.
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