Nov 12, 2020
Stephanie Kennan Comments on Potential ACA Fixes in a Biden Administration
While aggressive health reform proposals such as a public option or Medicare buy-in are likely off the table as President-elect Biden takes office, there is an opportunity for legislative fixes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to health policy experts.
McGuireWoods Consulting senior vice president, Stephanie Kennan, spoke with Inside Health Policy for an Nov. 7 article on potential ACA fixes in play, as Biden looks to build off the ACA framework by ending the “subsidy cliff” in the exchanges, eliminating the 400 percent of poverty threshold for receiving tax credits, limiting premium contributions and more.
A divided Congress will make any movement on healthcare reform difficult.
“Biden brings a vastly different skill set to the office than Trump, or even former President Barack Obama, who had only been in the Senate for a brief time before taking office,” Kennan said. “Biden spent more than 45 years in the Senate, is an experienced negotiator and might be able strike deals if there are senators who would prefer to fix rather than scrap the ACA.”
Democrats may wait for the Supreme Court ruling on California v. Texas, the case challenging the ACA’s constitutionality, to push health reforms or may try to include provisions around healthcare in the next COVID-19 relief package.
“If health policies aren't included in the relief bill, Democrats would have another bite at the apple post-SCOTUS ruling and over the course of a new president's first term,” Kennan said.