ObamaCare or the Affordable Care Act (ACA) my question for you is, is it the same thing? In today’s political climate, the ACA, also known as, ObamaCare is such a controversial issue. There are people out there that have such a bias against President Obama and his legacy that they want to eradicate him at any cost.
The irony is that when surveyed people stated that they would prefer to keep their Affordable Health Care but did not want to have anything to do with ObamaCare. The interesting thing is that they did not realize nor understand that it is the same thing. It is such an issue that there are so many articles written around this.
The sad part is that there are so many people out there that are either too ignorant or too prejudice to understand exactly what they are saying. Here are a few of the articles that you may find interesting on the subject:
The bottom line is why can’t we have Universal Healthcare in the U.S. like other Countries? While the healthcare system is not perfect in those Countries healthcare is the least of their concerns. This is the same with the ACA.
There were several presidents that tried to accomplish enacting a healthcare system but it didn’t work until President Obama. In conversations with the Preserving Health Care Benefits for Small Businesses panelists and the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) Policy Advisor and Staff we were provided with enough information to help us to understand the issues around the ACA. The burning question is will the ACA be repealed or replaced?
“The ACA is not a perfect system but at least it is operating in the right direction. It needs a little massaging. The focus needs to be on improving what is working and replacing what isn’t.” Kevin Lucia, Research Professor and Project Director, Center on Health Insurance Reforms (CHIR), Georgetown University’s Health Policy. Let’s give credit where credit is due.
To start we will begin with the Murray-Alexander Deal. In this deal, the two Senators wanted to get some movement as it pertains to the ACA, so they struck a deal that they believed would be a win-win. The deal reflected on the subsidies that are a major part of the ACA.
These subsidies also are known as Cost-Sharing Reductions (CSR), are the federal reimbursements that healthcare providers receive to supplement the out-of-pocket expenses that those within the underserved communities are unable to afford or pay for. The CSR issues have been heavily talked about in the news because President Trump is opting to not reimburse the healthcare providers for these costs. With the Murray-Alexander Deal, it will help to remove “the emperor has no clothes syndrome” because as everything stands now pertaining to the ACA and the lack of getting any type of resolution it has become so embarrassing for both sides of the House.
While some of the Congressional party are willing to move forward in getting a resolution to the plan the issue is at what costs? Hence the Murray-Alexander Deal. Also, what will the American people have to give up just to get a plan that will not be a detriment to each household or small business owner?
On the table was the skinny repeal, what does this mean? The skinny repeal is a scaled down of the ACA which is estimated that it could be passed with some of the following elements removed:
- Individual mandate of requiring individuals to purchase insurance
- Employer mandate for companies with at least 50 employees
- Other social services programs that affect millions of Americans
As a business owner is it important to know and understand how the ACA will and can impact you and your business. If the ACA is not massaged or improved it can get worse. Let’s explore how the ACA rolls out:
- Overall health insurance premiums are decreasing, however, there are some people who’s premiums has increased because it offsets those with pre-existing conditions, as well as those that previously did not have healthcare insurance;
- The focus shouldn’t be on eradicating the legacy that President Obama has created during his terms in office at the expense of the people but instead focus on how to best serve the people;
- If the plan is totally replaced or repealed instead of parts of it, there could be at least 20 million people that could once again be without healthcare. Is this Making American Great Again?;
- The healthcare providers are unsure as to the stability of the ACA, particularly the CSR, so they are beginning to attach a 12% surcharge to some of the policies. The surcharge is to help offset their losses, in case the CSR are eradicated under the new plan;
- Without the government assistance each State would have to pay for their own CSR; and
- Other States could be affected because patients could cross over into other States for services such as within the Washington Metro Area (D.C., Virginia, and Maryland).
Now let’s consider some suggestions including those of the panel experts and the HELP Team:
- “Locate a broker that understands all of the aspects of the ACA including the risks,” says Lucia;
- “For high deductions create standard benefits package vs non-standard packages which allows flexibility. Thoroughly read your policy whether it’s a Bronze, Gold, Silver or Platinum plan to understand what is and isn’t covered,” says Mila Kofman, Executive Director, DC Health Benefits Exchange Authority;
- Restructure the billing codes for services. It is the billing codes that determine what the costs will be. There are known cases of medical fraud due to billing codes for services which are assisting in taxing our healthcare system;
- Why are the costs in the U.S. so high? What are other Countries like Australia and France doing pertaining to medical costs that seem to escape our medical system? Let’s look at best practices of other systems throughout the world and implement some of them;
- Carefully look at the Medicaid Expansion and its effect on each State;
- Make ACA markets more stable so that insurance companies can price and forecast better;
- Create more robust outreach to get more millennials insured;
- Wraparound ABTC services from early childhood, outpatient, and transitional housing to school-based; and
- Let’s rebrand the ACA and call it for what it is the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and not ObamaCare. Once people are fully educated that these two plans are the same then the conversation, acceptance, and support would become different.
Be on the lookout for Open Enrollment Season. Under the new leadership, the marketing dollars have been tremendously decreased, therefore, the public will not be timely notified when they can either change their provider or enroll in a health care plan. For this year the enrollment timeframe is from November 1 to December 15, 2017.
According to Adam Rochon, Owner, Sequoia Employee Benefits & Insurance Solutions, “Business owners should get ready for carrier changes in some areas because Blue Anthem is or has pulled out. Some of the healthcare providers’ websites are not fully operable or functioning properly. Also, you may experience shortened operating hours due to staff shortages. “
As a small business owner you must continue to make your voice heard and to stay up to date on small business issues reach out to these organizations and your Senators now:
Please do your part and let your voice be heard. “Show up, speak out, testify if needed before Congress, write articles to your local papers, and get ready to rally behind the causes when needed, “ says Lucia.
We need the Affordable Care Act (ACA) more than ever.
Thank you for this opportunity to serve you and for your support. If you have a concern or issue that you would like for me to talk about on your behalf within the near future please feel free to contact me.
“Don’t just stand by, be a part of the conversation.” Vernita Naylor
Founder/Owner, Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup)
Small Business Ambassador Since 2001