The results from yesterday’s midterm elections are in – we have a new GOP Senate Majority. So, what will the Republicans do with Obamacare now that they’ve retaken control of the Senate? Will they try a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act (most commonly referred to as Obamacare)? It doesn’t seem likely. The ACA is here to stay.
However, it is likely that our new Senate will fight to repeal two new taxes – one on medical devices and another on high-end insurance plans scheduled to take effect in 2018.
In an interview this week with Time magazine, the newly appointed Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell listed some of his top priorities as “repealing the medical device tax, trying to restore the 40-hour work week, and trying to get rid of the individual mandate” associated with Obamacare. He notes, “These are the kinds of things that I believe there is a bipartisan majority in the Senate to approve.”
This morning, Forbes.com staff writer Avik Roy wrote about his ideas on what the GOP should pass in 2015. Let’s take a look at the repeals Mitch McConnell mentioned in his interview with Time earlier this week.
Repealing Obamacare’s Employer Mandate
In his Forbes article, Avik Roy states, “The employer mandate incentivizes companies to discriminate against low-income workers, and move hourly-wage laborers from full-time to part-time work. Several independent analyses, most notably one from the Congressional Budget Office, have indicated that repealing the mandate would have a negligible effect on the number of Americans with health insurance.”
Repealing Obamacare’s Medical-Device Tax
Roy suggests that Republicans should repeal all three of Obamacare’s excise taxes on private insurance plans. He writes, “Those taxes are passed onto consumers and taxpayers in the form of higher premiums, making health insurance less affordable for average Americans.”
Repealing Obamacare’s Individual Mandate
While repealing the individual mandate wouldn’t work, Roy points out “…Pairing an individual-mandate repeal with a repeal of the law’s age-based community rating provision would allow the insurance market to continue to function.” By doing so, Forbes projects this would reduce the deficit by approx. $30 billion a year.
Open Enrollment Days Away
The 2015 Open Enrollment Period, or OE2 as its being referenced, is only 10 days away. Last year, 8 million Americans enrolled into a Marketplace plan. Of those, 85% of shoppers purchased with a subsidy. On average, those subsidies covered 70% of the plan premium for those that qualified.
This year, the government is projecting 14 million Americans to enroll into a Marketplace plan between November 15, 2014 and February 15, 2015.
Need Help Enrolling?
HealthTN.com has you covered! We have highly qualified local Tennessee agents that can help you in the enrollment or re-enrollment process. Give us a call at (615) 541-4257 to schedule an appointment.