July 9, 2017 The Call – Respond to HHS’ request from comments on ACA regulations The Trump Administration continues to claim that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will collapse under it’s own weight. That has not stopped them from doing everything they can to undermine the ACA. Executive Order 13765, titled “Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal,” directs HHS to find regulatory “solutions.” Despite the innocuous name, the Executive Order can only realistically be read as an attempt to weaken the current healthcare system & as an end-run around Republicans’ failure to legislatively repeal the ACA. While claiming that rescinding/modifying ACA regulations will increase state flexibility and consumer choice, the real intent is to gut ACA without the hassle of repeal. Even if the BCRA is passed, repealing ACA, HHS would still make many regulatory changes to weaken ACA requirements because the effectiveness of the legislative repeal would be delayed until 2018 and 2020. Your Action Review the talking points below and submit an informed comment on regulations.gov by clicking on the “Comment Now!” button. Please personalize your comment rather than copy and paste for maximum effectiveness. Additionally, you don’t need to include every point. It’s best to focus on the ones you feel most strongly about. Talking Points The best way to ensure affordable coverage for the most Americans is to fund the subsidies, enforce the mandate and keep the regulations requiring high quality insurance. The President’s Executive Order directs HHS to minimize the “economic burden” of the ACA. In fact, the EO is designed to accomplish the following:
It would destabilize exchanges and markets by decreasing subsidies, making policies harder to compare and allowing cheaper options for healthy, well off people. This would leave the the vulnerable with unaffordable options.
It could destabilize exchanges by allowing healthy people to buy short-term policies off the exchanges, leaving the exchanges only with the high costs of those already sick.
It would cause any plans that become cheaper as a result of the rescinded regulations to have skimpier coverage for those now healthy and leave them at risk if they have a major accident or illness.
It would add more “flexibility” to states without full funding, which is likely to reduce access to Medicaid for the most vulnerable patients and result in higher deductibles for those most in need.
It would add more “flexibility” in defining essential benefits, which would allow bigger profits for insurers by decreasing the quality of coverage for those who need it most.