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GOP ACA Repeal Options

GOP ACA Repeal Options

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Published by Casey Michel

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Published by: Casey Michel on Jun 26, 2012
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09/08/2012

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With Governor Romney all but assured to be the Republican nominee, and though his electoral hopesremain slightly below 50% (as is Republican control over the Senate), speculation turns to his oft-repeated desire to dismantle the 2010 health reform law. While it is extremely unlikely thatmeaningful changes could be made via executive order or targeted waivers, as he has discussed, thereremain a number of policy tools available to a GOP president and Congress that can be used tochange or rescind various aspects of the law, or at least stall their implementation. These legislativeand regulatory tools, however, do
 not
kill Obamacare in a neat and tidy package, since many can’t beutilized quickly or simultaneously.This process is likely to be cumbersome, further prolonging uncertainty for the healthcare sector.Assuming Republicans move forward successfully with the policy options outlined below, the resultwill be positive for
medical device makers
,
drug makers
.
Insurers
, however, are likely to facepain until the industry reforms and individual mandate are altered or eliminated, which would provepositive.
Providers
in general, however, remain at risk of the Medicare reimbursement cuts beingmaintained or later resurrected as a way to slow entitlement spending.Republicans’ best hope for partial repeal is through the reconciliation process, whereby legislationonly needs a simple majority to pass the Senate, as it is certain that the GOP will not have afilibuster-proof majority next year. However, the reconciliation process cannot undo reform it itsentirety, as some key elements of the law are not considered to have a budgetary impact and wouldtherefore require 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. As such, a Romney Administration could addressthese issues through the decision not to implement or release final rules, as well as the rescission orrewriting of regulations. Furthermore, a new GOP Congress can block implementation of any newrules the Obama Administration releases in Q4/early Q1 via the Congressional Review Act with asimple majority vote.Below are the various issues being targeted by Republicans, as well as the policy tools they willemploy to repeal, replace or stall them. We note that the following assumes a Romney victory, aRepublican Congress, and that the Supreme Court
upholds
the law in its entirety.
Policy Tool Odds
Medicaid expansion Reconciliation
 Likely
Tax subsidies insurance purchase Reconciliation
 Likely
Industry excise fees (Insurer, Drugand Device)Reconciliation
 Likely
Penalty associated with the individualmandateReconciliation
 Likely
Beth Mantz Steindecker,
 
202/756-7715
 John J. Leppar
 ,
202/756-7703
 April 18, 2012
Healthcare Reform and Republican Sweep: What Can They Do?
WA
NALYSIS
 
ASHINGTON
 
Healthcare Update
 
 Washington Analysis
 April 18, 2012
Page 2 of 3
Individual mandate Would require 60 votes and bipartisanalternative to repeal. Alternative (medicalmalpractice reform, refundable tax credits,expanded use of health savings accountsand high risk pools, etc.) would likely be inconjunction with altered insurance reforms.
Uncertain,depends ondetails of alternative
Employer mandate Reconciliation
 Likely
Insurance market reforms already inplace (expanded dependent coverage,rescission ban, prohibition on lifetimelimits, no cost-sharing on certainpreventive services)Rescinding or rewriting regulation.Popular policies (e.g. dependents,rescission ban) likely to remain in somefashion.
 Likely
Insurance market reforms to takeeffect 2014 (guaranteed issue,community rating, limitations onannual limits)Need 60 Senate votes to overcome afilibuster, likely in conjunction withmandate and coverage alternative,
or 
Romney Administration does not issueregulations, though would further prolonguncertainty for insurers.
Uncertain,depends ondetails of alternative
State and federal exchanges Need 60 Senate votes to overcome afilibuster,
or 
Rescinding or rewriting regulation,
or 
Romney Administration does not approvestate exchanges or establish a federalexchange.
 Likely
Independent Payment AdvisoryBoard (IPAB)Reconciliation
 Likely
Essential benefits Need 60 Senate votes to overcome afilibuster,
or 
Rescinding or rewriting regulation. SinceObama merely issued guidance, it isarguable that Romney Administrationsimply does not release rules. Not onlydoes this create confusion for the insurers,it could prompt litigation.
 Likely
Closure of the Medicare Part D“donut hole”Reconciliation
Unlikelydue to policy’s popularity
Medical-loss ratio (MLR) Need 60 Senate votes to overcome afilibuster of either outright repeal orcounting broker fees in the formula,
or  Less likely,not a big priority

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