Posted by: danielrashke | August 2, 2017

Not Getting it Done

us-capitol-buildingTASC’s May 4, 2017 Capital Connection blog addressed Republican attempts to repeal and replace portions of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA) with the passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA). As our Legislative Analyst Director Jason Westphal wrote in that post, that legislation was a long way from becoming law. His words are just as true now as they were in May. (

Now that the latest attempt to repeal PPACA failed to pass in the Senate, I hope all sides of the aisle—left, right, and independent—can come together to facilitate some stability in our nation’s complex healthcare system. If the left pulls hard to the left and the right pulls hard to the right, our struggle with healthcare is bound to continue.

Yes, the PPACA of 2010 has insured more people than ever before, but its costs are an issue. No question about that. What’s the best thing for healthcare reform right now? I think the answer is first to stabilize the market, and then to have diverse minds come together to address areas that need improvements or tweaks. And we need to shut down the rhetoric, which is confusing and creates more instability for individuals, employers, and insurance carriers.

Will healthcare reform happen under this President? I doubt it. Instead, I see the subject of healthcare reform again in the forefront at the next turnover of the Presidency, the House, or the Senate.  Meanwhile, I know a big concern for everyone is the rising cost of healthcare. This is far from a new concern. In all my years in the employee benefits industry I have never seen the cost of healthcare go down. I think the best we can realistically hope for is to slow the increases. And of course there are other important objectives, like the safety, security, and support of some of our communities.

It would be a sad state of affairs, regardless of which political party controls the government, to move millions of people off of health insurance. I don’t see how that helps us get anywhere. We either subsidize the cost of insurance or subsidize the cost of hospital visits, because by law no one may be denied care at the hospital.

Lately our political environment hasn’t been inclusive to getting much done. And that’s with control of all three houses held by one party. Hopefully—with or without a control shift after the 2018 mid-term elections—our legislators will find a way to work together to make some progress.

I invite you to watch for future blogs. I plan to discuss evolving healthcare reform proposals and their effect on our industry, along with reforms that TASC would like to see become law.


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