The Affordable Care Act’s worst enemies are now in charge of the vast range of health coverage the law created. They’re also discussing changes that could affect a wider net of employment-based policies and Medicare coverage for seniors.
Although Republicans failed last month in their first attempt to repeal and replace the ACA, President Donald Trump vows the effort will continue. And even if Congress does nothing, Trump has suggested he might sit by and “let Obamacare explode.”
Health insurance for the 20 million who benefited from the ACA’s expanded coverage is especially at risk. But they’re not the only ones potentially affected. Here’s how what’s going on in Washington might touch you.
A 3-year-old lawsuit threatens many health plans
A suit by the Republican-led House challenges some of the subsidies that support private plans sold to individuals and families through the ACA’s online insurance marketplaces (also called exchanges). The lawsuit has already gained one court victory. By many accounts, it would wreck the market if successful, leaving up to 12 million people without coverage.
“It’s the single-biggest problem facing the exchanges,” said Rachel Sachs, a health law professor at Washington University in St. Louis. “That would make insurers not only exit tomorrow but also not want to offer plans in 2018.”