On Friday, February 17, 2017, the Trump administration released new ACA regulations – their first big step towards healthcare reform and potentially repeal. Among some of the rules include short enrollment period, stricter requirements for SEPs, and more plan flexibility for the insurers. To read a more on the rules and what they mean, check out our other article.
Announced shortly after news broke about Humana’s decision to withdraw from the ACA exchanges in 2018, the ACA regulations are an attempt to dissuade other insurers from exiting the market. While many are encouraged about these rules, some think it will have severe repercussions, especially for consumers. See what people have to say – both good and bad – about the new ACA regulations. Then, comment below and tell us what you think!
1. Ceci Connolly, President and CEO of the Alliance of Community Health Plans
To Connolly, the proposal is “a promising first step.” Additionally, she said the group is “very pleased that the administration is heeding the call of consumers and patients, health care plans, providers and other stakeholders” to stabilize the market during any “potential transition from the Affordable Care Act.”
2. Alissa Fox, Senior VP of Blue Cross Blue Shield
Same as Connolly, Fox thinks these rules are a “good start” towards stabilizing and improving the “functioning of the marketplace, so that any longer-term reforms can begin on a better footing,” said Alissa Fox.
3. Mark Bertolini, Aetna Chairman and CEO
“After numerous discussions with the administration and congressional leaders, I am optimistic that they are totally committed to an Affordable Care Act replacement package that will better meet consumer expectations,” said Bertolini. Like Connolly, he believes that these regulations are “some good initial steps” by the Trump administration.
4. Marilyn Tavenner, President and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans
Tavenner “commend[s] the administration” for doing what’s necessary to “stabilize and improve the individual market for 2018.” Most of all, she and her group support solutions that “promote affordability for consumers, and give states and the private sector additional flexibility to meet the needs of consumers.”
5. Greg Walden (R-OR), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman, and Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Health Subcommittee Chairman
“Today’s action represents a clear signal from the Trump administration that patient voices have finally been heard, and that health care markets will get immediate relief,” said Walden and Burgess. Since the rules require documentation for special enrollment periods, “these changes help protect taxpayers and stabilize markets.”
1. Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA
While some think the regulations will stabilize and improve, Families USA, on the other hand, thinks it’s “sabotage.” In their opinion, Trump’s administration is “creating their own death spiral.” Because enrollment will be made more difficult, it will effectually “deter young adults from gaining coverage.” As a result, costs will go up. Furthermore, the new rules will probably raise deductibles, “increasee cost-sharing and cut back financial assistance for coverage”
2. Andy Slavitt, Former Administrator of Obamacare
Andy Slavitt said that the Trump administration has “created a manufactured crisis with talk of repeal but no plan to replace” because it essentially makes enrollment more difficult. Rather than focusing on “changes that will raise deductibles, reduce access to physicians and put limitations on the ability for people to get coverage,” Slavitt argues that the Trump administration should “reduce uncertainty and focus on keeping the marketplace stable and growing.”
3. Larry Levitt, Senior Vice President of Kaiser Family Foundation
Levitt sums up the general consensus of most everyone against the new ruling. He tweeted, “The Trump Administration’s ACA rules strike me as making things less consumer friendly and more insurer friendly.”
4. Caroline Pearson, Senior Vice President at Avalere Health
To Pearson, the new ACA regulations are only a temporary fix. “Today’s proposed rule is an effort to stabilize the exchange markets until an ACA replacement plan is approved and implemented,” Pearson said in a statement. However, she said that “it’s unclear […] whether these changes will be sufficient to ensure all regions of the country have an exchange operating in 2018.”
Though “this rule is meant to encourage plan participation,” Pearson does not think that it’s enough. To explain, Pearson says, “Plans that were going to leave the market will probably still leave the market and plans that were inclined to stay in will probably stay in, albeit a little happier.” Ultimately, she believes that the market will “shrink in size.”
5. Topher Spiro, Vice President for Health Policy at American Progress
In a long series of tweets, Topher Spiro expressed his opinion about the new ACA regulations. First, he tweets, “If it wasn’t clear already, this is now Trumpcare. Trump and the GOP will own the fallout: lower enrollment & higher costs for consumers.” Then ten tweets later, Spiro says, “Far from stabilizing the market, these regs will severely depress enrollment. Welcome to Trumpcare!”
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