January 12, 2017

The Future of Healthcare

Jacob D. Beaver, Mitch Vakerics, Rich Meade, Vickie Walling

The Affordable Care Act has been the fodder of political campaigns dating back to the special election to fill the vacant U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts in early 2010. The Republican rhetoric on the campaign trail of “repeal and replace” may have been beneficial in their electoral efforts, but the implementation of the campaign promise is going to prove to be a lot more complicated than one might think initially.

For starters the Affordable Care Act is not a singular government program. Rather it was created by a combination of expansions of existing government programs, changes to other government programs, and creation of new policies and programs.

Further complicating matters in this effort, health insurance exchanges initially opened in October of 2013 and have been providing coverage to millions of Americans starting in 2014.  President-elect Trump and Congressional Republicans are mindful of the potential for political disaster if legislative actions lead to abrupt changes in the insurance markets and Americans’ health insurance coverage.

Here is what we know. Congress is making action on the Affordable Care Act its top priority by moving forward with a budget resolution that will provide for the use of the budget reconciliation process to amend the Affordable Care Act. The budget reconciliation instructions, not unlike those used in 2009 to help create the law, are broad instructions to the committees with jurisdiction over the law to reduce the budget deficit over a ten-year period by $1 billion.

The flexibility provided by those broad reconciliation instructions would allow Congress to write legislation that repeals many key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, that repeals some provisions and either modifying or leaving in place other provisions, or that repeals key provisions and puts in place other policies designed to “replace” the Affordable Care Act.

To learn more about the budget reconciliation process and its power and limitations, please click here to read a Prime Insight on that topic.

There is a lot of speculation – both on and off Capitol Hill – about how Congress will proceed with the “repeal and replace” efforts ranging from having a bill on the President’s desk to “repeal” the law by March 1st to actions that will play out over the next two years.

In these uncertain times, having the latest information is critical to your success.  Prime Policy Group’s Healthcare Practice will be providing you with the latest news and information related to the Affordable Care Act.

If you have questions about the information or want to compare notes on what you may have heard or learned, please free to contact any member of the practice.


Rich Meade

Rich Meade, a Vice Chairman at Prime Policy Group and Chair of the firm’s Healthcare Practice has over 25 years of experience in legislative, regulatory, political and public relations strategy. He previously served as Chief of Staff to the House Budget Committee. Rich has helped his clients navigate many complex regulatory and legislative landscapes to achieve many public policy successes including transitioning to a new Medicare payment and quality system, and developing, with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), a health information exchange (HIE) on the Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN).

 

Vickie Walling

Vickie is Co-Chair of Prime Policy Group’s Healthcare Practice and also works with a variety of the firm’s clients, including domestic businesses, multinational corporations and trade associations on federal legislative and regulatory issues. She has over 40 years of legislative and political experience and is widely recognized for her assistance and guidance in the creation of the Blue Dog Coalition, a coalition of moderate Democrats where she provided strategic, legislative and fundraising counsel for 15 years.

 

Mitchell Vakerics

Mitchell has been delivering trusted counsel across a diverse practice of legislative, policy and political issues for more than a decade. During his long-standing tenure both in Congress and throughout the political and policy sphere of Washington, he has tackled some of the largest healthcare, energy and regulatory issues presented before the federal government. He has a massive range of relationships and strategic congressional partnerships has paid dividends for consecutive congressional sessions. Mitch is a member of Prime Policy Group’s healthcare practice.

 

Jacob Beaver

Jacob is a Client Executive at Prime Policy Group, where he is an integral member of the Firm’s research team.