What’s next for Healthcare Reform?
Obmacare Will Not Be Repealed.
I would like to be the first to go on record and confidently make the following statement: “Regardless of who wins the election in November, The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) will NOT be repealed or replaced.” You can quote me on this.
How can I make such a confident statement? Because the old system was bad for small-business while the ACA is good for small-business. For the first time in 18 years as an employer, my health insurance premiums did not increase at my 2012 renewal. This has never happened before and will not happen again if we repeal the ACA.
[please see my earlier post “The impact of ACA on Small Business].
The ACA currently excludes the coverage mandate for businesses under 50 employees and offers tax-credits to help those businesses with under 20 employees purchase health insurance should they elect to do so. As a matter of fact, in 2014 the ACA even affords some employees (individuals) the ability to purchase insurance directly through state-exchanges at the lowest price available to any business in the state. They pay the same low prices available to the largest employers in the state because now, the group is defined as all residents in the state. This is good for employees and gives the small-business the option to provide the insurance or not but now they at least know that their employees can directly purchase their own portable plans , stay insured, and stay healthier.
After 2 years of arguing for repeal, no one has yet to offer a vetted replacement plan that cures the ills of the pre-ACA model or the ACA model itself. Repeal and replace is nothing more than a word-phrase that hopes for acceptance. Hope is not a plan.
To date, no replacement plan has been openly debated, argued and fact-checked. The simplistic act of offering parts of generic sounding ideas or elements of concepts as a plan just sounds like rambling thoughts … not leadership. As far as any of us is concerned, no replacement plans really exist. Barring a presentation of a detailed replacement plan which can deliver positive benefits to small businesses, I do not see any reason repeal would ever succeed. Therefore the ACA will not be repealed.
As a small business owner, I am personally experiencing a number of positive benefits from passage of the Affordable Care Act and I’m not going back to the old system. Frankly, the old system was a system of poor design, foisted upon all businesses in an incredibly inefficient manner. None of the business people I know would have ever designed the old system and left it unchanged for 50 years. The old system needed to morph and improve just like every other product or service evolves out of necessity. Why would business people want:
1. Limited Group Plans that hurt small businesses and their employees.
2. Healthcare Insurance as the vehicle to finance healthcare yet be the most expensive insurance product around.
3. Healthcare premiums that were consistently increasing by double digits from 1999-2009.
4. Expensive premium costs yielding below-average general healthcare outcomes for employees.
5. Selective exclusions specifically designed to limit access to preventative care.
6. A lack of individual portability thereby forcing employers to provide insurance.
7. A lack of direct procurement options leading to a heavy reliance on expensive middlemen.
8. Perverse incentives creating contradictory outcomes
9. Duplicative health related insurance cost buried in multiple insurance products required of most businesses.
10. The inability to receive any benefit for the improving health of the workforce.
As a small business owner, I never repeat a bad business deal and I never want to go back to the old system. Therefore the ACA WILL NOT BE REPEALED AND REPLACED.