Prudent insurers, employers and benefits advisors should take the same “better safe than sorry” approach to planning for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that they’d take to planning for computer problems, or a major hurricane.
Panelists agreed on that point Monday during a panel discussion on employer implementation of PPACA organized by Ernst & Young L.L.P., New York, and cosponsored by Financial Executives International, Morristown, N.J.
Edward Pudlowski, a benefits expert at the firm, participated along with Michelle Reinke Neblett, director of labor and workforce policy at the National Restaurant Association (NRA), Washington.
Pudlowski and Neblett touched briefly on the view of some employers that PPACA might “just go away,” either because of congressional action or possibly because the Supreme Court will find that the provision requiring many individuals to own coverage or else pay a penalty is unconstitutional.
The NRA is no fan of PPACA, but Neblett shrugged when asked about the idea of PPACA vanishing.
Federal agencies “are certainly implementing this law,” Neblett said. “You don’t just stop that overnight.”
If the 2012 elections break in favor of Republicans and Democrats with concerns about PPACA, that could change the situation, Neblett said.
But, Neblett said, even if the mix in Congress changes, some of the regulations are already written.
“It’s very hard to roll those back,” Neblett said.
Pudlowski said depending on the idea of a change in Washington leading to the disappearance of PPACA is unwise.