Wednesday, January 25, 2012

White House paints picture of life without ACA

We recently blogged on this site about what healthcare reform would look like without the individual mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Now, the White House wants us all to think about what might happen if healthcare reform had been completely repealed, which is what the House tried and failed to do last January, and what the U.S. Supreme Court may do this year.

The list of scenarios is fairly extensive. According to a report issued by the White House last week, the following would have happened:
  • 2.5 million currently-insured young adults would be without health insurance;
  • 2.65 million seniors would pay a total of $1.5 billion more for their prescription drugs, since the ACA provided a 50% discount on covered brand name prescription drugs for seniors and people with disabilities who hit the "donut hole";
  • 24.2 million seniors (as of November 2011) would be paying more for preventive care, such as mammograms and colonoscopies;
  • 45,000 Americans with pre-existing conditions would, as of November 2011, be uninsured. The White House bases this estimate on insurance provided through the ACA's Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan;
  • 102 million would have not seen their coverage expanded beyond the caps on their lifetime care;
  • 15 million people would be vulnerable to rescission of their insurance policies due to unintentional mistakes on their paperwork. This retroactive cancellation would be likely, even if they’re sick. Such rescission could mean that past medical expenses suddenly and unexpectedly become due;
  • 41 million more Americans would have to pay more for preventive care;
  • Coverage of early retirees would cost more than 6,000 businesses almost $5 billion more dollars. The $5 billion came from the ACA via a reinsurance program to help cover costs of retirees who are too young to qualify for Medicare;
  • Insurance companies in every state would not have to publicly justify certain raises (10% or more) in premium increases;
  • Insurance companies would not be required to spend at least 80% of every premium dollar on medical care or give rebates to their insureds;
  • 29 states would not have received over $700 million in grants to establish Affordable Insurance Exchanges;
  • States, communities, and health care providers would not have received $750 million from the ACA’s Prevention and Public Health Fund;
  • $350 million from the ACA for the purpose of fighting  healthcare fraud would not be available. The White House points out that 931 individuals have been charged with health care fraud in fiscal year 2010, and that new tools to detect and prevent fraud have been created by the ACA; and
  • A deficit reduction attributable to the ACA that is expected to be approximately $100 billion over the next ten years would not materialize. The White House adds that reforms such as Partnership for Patients is also expected to save up to $50 billion over the next 10 years.
For more information. For a comprehensive analysis of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and additional information on health reform and other developments in employee benefits, just click here.


Post a Comment