Version 2.0 of the American Health Care Act – AHCA – is gaining steam, even as the process in the Senate has been criticized for its secrecy. Still, it remains to be seen whether Republicans will be able to garner the votes needed to pass the bill meant to replace the Affordable Care Act.
Last month President Trump praised the House version of the AHCA, yet last week, he called it “mean” in a meeting with Senators who are working on their own version
At this point, calling the fate of health-care policy unpredictable is an understatement. A lot has been said about what happens if the AHCA passes, but given all the uncertainty, consumers should be asking themselves asking a different question:
The ACA has its issues, and if it stays in place those issues will be aggravated by an administration that doesn’t support it – and actively wants it to fail. If the AHCA doesn’t pass, here’s what consumers will have to contend with based on the actions the Trump administration may – or may not – take.
The health insurance story of 2016 was big premium increases, as rates rose an average of 22 percent. But the truth is that most people didn’t feel the full effect of these rate increases thanks to government subsidies. This year, the big question will be whether or not the Trump administration will continue its commitment to those subsidies. This will have a huge impact on what consumers will end up paying for their health insurance.
North Carolina is a perfect example, where uncertainty around one type of subsidy called cost-sharing-reductions (CSRs) is already threatening a price spike. Blue Cross Blue Shield has proposed two different scenarios based on whether or not CSRs will be continued: With CSRs, rates will increase statewide by just 8.8 percent, but without the subsidies, rates would likely increase by an average of 22.9 percent. Similarly, rate increases in Pennsylvania could range from under 9 percent to over 20 percent depending on federal support.