Any U.S. election is bound to spur changes at the highest levels of government. This year’s midterm elections are no different, as Republicans took control of the Senate and continue to control the House. With this Congressional shift, new lawmakers could easily change the direction of the ACA.
It’s possible the Senate will start with a vote on repealing the PPACA, insurance broker lobbying firms believe, according to Mike Nesper on Employee Benefits Adviser’s website. “Since Republicans took control of the House in 2011, there have been 54 votes to either repeal or change the ACA, and those efforts to alter the health care law will continue,” Nesper writes, quoting Diane Boyle, vice president of federal government relations at the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. It’s also possible Republicans will hone in on specific parts of the PPACA, including the employer mandate and possible changes for the Cadillac tax, Nesper writes.
However, BenefitsPro.com staff members asked insurance professionals before the elections how a Republican Senate might affect PPACA. One predicted less-than-sweeping changes; another said he couldn’t see the law being repealed. That was James Slotnick, Assistant Vice President at Sun Life Financial in Boston. ”What will be interesting to see is how a new Republican majority would work to chip away at the law,” Slotnick is quoted as saying. “For example, if the government collects less than is needed to pay out for risk corridor payments, we could see a Republican Senate attempt to block the needed risk corridor funding.”
The election could also affect individual states. “New governors with the ability to appoint their own insurance commissioners could change PPACA implementation that way, and influence the implementation policies the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) sets,” writes Allison Bell on LifeHealthPro.com.
Whatever the changes, brokers’ roles will be as important as ever, Brian Hicks, Vice President of Business Development at Piedmont Payment Services in Nashville, told Benefitspro.com. “If you’re confused, imagine how confused the average employer will be,” Hicks said. “The need for good advisors should continue to climb. Truthfully, PPACA will likely be a target for overhaul/reform for many elections to come — with every election bringing more changes and more confusion.”