I get calls and emails from the T1 community … amidst a lot of fear and anger and anxiety. I absolutely do not have answers. But I’d like to pass along what I’m reading, thanks to Craig Idlebrook’s www.InsulinNation.com.
Regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the 2 major issues to those of us in the T1 community:
- Will any new plan, under the Trump administration, cover pre-existing conditions like diabetes;
- Will any new plan for healthcare covering pre-existing conditions bee too expensive. However, even with the current ACA, the recent price hikes for premiums already are putting the plans out of reach for many.
Here’s a very concise narrative from InsulinNation:
Donald Trump will be working with a Congress controlled by Republicans, as the GOP has won the majority of both the House of Representatives and the Senate in the 2016 elections. Republicans have repeatedly tried to repeal the ACA since its passage in 2009, so they will try to do so again under a Trump administration. In a Politico report, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) said this week that repealing Obamacare was “pretty high on the agenda”.
However, scrapping Obamacare will probably not be a short process. That’s because Republicans did not gain a supermajority in the Senate which could prevent Democrats there from blocking efforts to alter Obamacare. Democrats could, in theory, filibuster to prevent action on most bills, and Republicans would need 60 votes to end a filibuster; if everyone voted along party lines, the filibuster would not be defeated. This means that, for the moment, Republicans can’t repeal ACA completely unless they put forth a plan that would appeal to at least some Senate Democrats.
This doesn’t mean that Republicans are stuck, however. They could choose to change portions of the ACA through a parliamentary procedure called reconciliation. Under these rules, Republicans could put some changes of the ACA into a budget bill and then pass it with a simple majority.
Read more on the Republican package, Restoring American’s Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015, which President Obama vetoed, to understand the plans they hope to implement. Remember, it is very unlikely that any new bill would go into effect immediately, as there is usually a 2-year phase-in period.