• Repeal, replace, or not replace…What is going to happen to Affordable Care Act?

  • As we navigate through the recent inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, many questions are circling around, especially what is going to happen to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) aka Obamacare. Repeal, replace, or not replace for over 30 million Americans depending on the ACA.

    It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out that of the 30 million people recorded having health insurance through the ACA, that is 10 % of the total population of the United States.

    Many have spoken as to the ideology of the ACA; repeal, replace, don’t replace. Indeed, many Americans will be effected, including this writer.

    However, this article is not going to be about my story. I would like to take a glimpse at the global picture of the economic cycle. I call it; cause and effect with consequences.

    Let’s start with the health insurance brokers. They are one of many group that help both individuals and small businesses navigate the complex health insurance maze. Their services have been highlighted as key to helping uninsured Americans get enrolled following the ACA rollout. The number of people employed to help insurance shoppers to shop has been steadily increasing, with just over one million agents, brokers and related service employees logged in 2014, according to The Statistics Portal

    Next, healthcare providers who depend on the insurance reimbursements for their revenue. With 10% of the population having loss their coverage, they will not be to pay or afford a doctor’s visit, a diagnostic test, hospital stay, or wellness checkups. Your own provider’s revenue will be much lower. With a lower revenue stream for a provider, there will be other casualties. Employees, medical device sales, building purchases, loans, leasing of buildings, technology infrastructure, repairs, furniture repairs, purchases of office and medical supplies for the clinic, not to mention the taxes bases for local, county, state and federal taxes. Many of those are still running in the red, and will be prominently impacted due to the lower earnings. These municipalities will have to make further adjustments to their budgets and spread the shortfall among the current population, cutbacks, lost jobs.

    Looking at the employees of the provider. What happens when these employees no longer have a job at the providers’ clinic? They will not able to buy the extras, or just be able to afford the necessities, such as food, gas, car payment, rent, mortgage, electricity. These employees are forced to turn to the local social services for assistance.

    What about the bank holding the mortgage or car loan, landlord, the grocery store which less will be purchased from? These companies all have employees. Will the volume be lowered due to the rising unemployment? Similar to less tax revenue, will these company’s employees be impacted and find themselves without a job?

    Are you beginning to see the economic cycle- the cause and effect? The consequences for all and where the United States (US) could spiraling into?

    As a healthcare consultant, I have large and small clients within the healthcare footprint, which enables me to see up front and close just what the ACA “talk” of repeal has done. From employees being laid off, to large upgrades of technology being tabled, laying off those who drove those upgrades.  Along with most if not all, adopting a wait and see mentality.  

    Last week, the Congressional Budget Office published its estimate of what would happen under a law that eliminated the mandate and some other provisions of the ACA. Over 18 million people would lose their insurance next year alone. How do you think our economy would look in 2019 and beyond?

    As I mentioned, this article is not about me. It is about the economic effect on which repealing and not replacing the ACA will have on our country.

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    Judith is an accredited Certified HIPAA Professional (CHP). As the owner of JAL, Judith is your subject matter expert providing guidance to organizations within HIPAA, GLBA, False Claim and other regulatory agencies. Judith provides reasonable and appropriate compliance policies, procedures within your Compliance Program. As a guru in compliance, Judith delivers compliance employee training programs, and participates in educational speaking engagements for the industries who handle Protected Health Information. To read more about the world of compliance subscribed to JAL’s insightful newsletter at www.jalconsultantsaz.com OR follow JAL on Twitter @judithconsult

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