From Health Affairs:
Timothy Jost Assesses The Post-AHCA Fallout
Bethesda, MD—Earlier this year Health Affairs launched a monthly series in the journal, EYE ON HEALTH REFORM, summarizing recent developments around changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It is authored by Timothy Jost, a widely recognized expert of health law who has closely followed the ACA. The third report, “Navigating A Post-AHCA Landscape,” evaluates options available to the Trump administration and Congress for changing the ACA now that Congress, for the foreseeable future, is unlikely to repeal and replace that law. With Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price having the power to “reduce regulations that are driving up the costs of care,” Jost describes efforts to promulgate market stabilization rules for 2018. Among these efforts are changes that insurers have requested, such as tightening up verification of enrollments during special enrollment periods. HHS could further reassure insurers, Jost suggests, by persuading Congress to make good on its payments to insurers for cost-sharing reductions rather than pursuing its current court challenge. Jost concludes his report by outlining the insurer-friendly bills enacted or under consideration by Congress to change aspects of the ACA. He also notes that failed American Health Care Act (AHCA) included provisions — funding for reinsurance programs, tax credits for middle-income consumers, and others — that could bring down the cost of care, if the administration and the Republican leaderships could join with Democrats on bipartisan consensus legislation.