January came and went, as did the January 27 budget resolution deadline for a report on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) reconciliation. Highlighted by the missed target date is the need for employers to continue compliance efforts until Congressional leadership can materialize legislation.
Congressional Republicans emerged late last month from a retreat aimed at constructing an agreement on how to replace the ACA with little new clarity on the details. No precise plan came out of the meeting because “we are still developing what this thing is going to look like,” Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, told reporters. Republicans adopted a budget resolution for the end of January and missed their target date to deliver a repeal plan.
Employers expect changes to arrive gradually, if at all.
While many still expect significant changes to the law (eventually), employers should be taking a wait-and-see approach, and, in the meantime, continue to comply with the ACA.
House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters at the retreat that Republicans could “make good” later this year on devising aspects of the party’s healthcare promise and other top policies they campaigned on in 2016, such as a tax overhaul.
Already, a number of steps have been taken to begin unraveling the massive healthcare law. On his first day in office, President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing agencies like Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor, to utilize their authorities under the law to minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the ACA.
“In terms of reporting requirements, I think employers and employer plans need to continue business as usual,” Steve Wojcik, vice president of public policy at the National Business Group on Health, said of the order.
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