What happened to the ACA Replacement?
Last week the Republican-led congress tried to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. They did not succeed, when the leader of the House, Paul Ryan, proclaimed that he did not have the votes to pass their proposed legislation, the American Healthcare Act. So what happened?
Some say the initial Congressional Budget Office estimates that nearly 24 million more individuals will be uninsured by 2026 scared off moderates and of course Democrats from ever supporting the bill.
Others point to the inclusion, into the bill, of subsidies based on age to help individuals pay their premiums. This inclusion added too much government involvement into healthcare according to many conservatives.
In essence, a bill was created that pleased no one.
What happens next?
Well, Obamacare is the law of the land. But as the current White House Administration is dramatically opposed to the law, they will pull levers to further the law’s demise on its own.
Today the Trump Administration is not enforcing the individual mandate and not marketing to individuals on enrollment dates into healthcare exchanges.
However, other changes will take longer to implement, like changing Medicaid slowly by not allowing individuals to re-enroll if they dropped off for any reason.
Ultimately, these changes move the healthcare industry, one that is already in a fragile fugue state, to an uncertain future. Healthcare in America will look different in 10 years, but what form will it take?
The Vision of Healthcare
The vision of whether healthcare is a right or a privilege in America is constantly debated. One issue that is not up for debate is healthcare costs. We need to lower healthcare costs as we spend almost 20% of our GDP on caring for our populace.
Therefore, cost saving measures like value-based care, population health management, and patient-centered medical care will not go away anytime soon. Quantifiable metrics show organizations who invest in managing their patient’s chronic conditions see the benefits of better profit margins and healthier patients. Usually, in times of uncertainty, visionary organizations make the right investments that separate them from their competitors. The business world is filled with companies like Google, Facebook, and Airbnb that grew the most during times of economic uncertainty.
Hopefully, healthcare organizations can look beyond this present moment and begin building the healthcare of the future we all need.