The future of the Affordable Care Act under Trump administration


NORTHEAST WISCONSIN (WBAY) – Throughout Republican Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, he often talked about his plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act as soon as he gets into office.

As millions of Americans sign up for health insurance using the federal marketplace right now, many of them are wondering what will happen to their coverage if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.

In order to completely repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Senate would need a 60 vote super-majority.

“Anything that is going to be changed has to go through an act of Congress,” said Jim Dietsche, chief financial officer and executive vice president of Bellin Health.

However, Trump would be able to get rid of certain healthcare provisions within the Affordable Care Act by rewriting spending and budgets with the help of the Republican-led Congress.

In Trump’s 100-day plan, he said he plans to promote tax-free health savings accounts, make insurance premiums tax-deductible, allow insurers to sell policies across state lines and turn Medicaid into a state block grant program.

“It’s too early to understand because there’s no detail and there’s really no legislation to tell us what it’s going to look like,” said Dietsche.  “I think that’s the biggest thing is to know that change is likely going to come and kind of stay informed and these will be elements of what that change may look like.”

If Trump is successful, the Congressional Budget Office said the changes would increase the number of people without health insurance by about 22 million people, but Dietsche doesn’t believe that would happen. In Wisconsin, when Gov. Scott Walker’s administration didn’t expand Medicaid, Dietsche said people still found coverage

“We still have the 7th best coverage rate of any state in the nation in terms of covering the uninsured population in our state, and we did that despite that,” said Dietsche. “They most likely won’t have access to the health insurance coverage they have today, but they will have access to something that will replace that. We just don’t know what that is today.”

Just like with the Affordable Care Act, change doesn’t happen overnight.

“The public exchange that just came out didn’t start until 3 years after that act (Affordable Care Act) was passed,” said Dietsche.

Dietsche said the best thing to do is stay informed, understand that change is likely, but hold tight and keep signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

“We would encourage people to seek out the benefits that they need in order for the provision of their healthcare and that will continue for sure through 2017,” said Dietsche.

There are provisions in the Affordable Care Act that are not likely to change. That includes allowing young adults to stay on their parent’s policy and making sure health insurers continue to sell policies to everyone, despite their health history.