Even many of the Republican speakers who appeared last week at the Health Agents for America meeting said they are now resigned to the possibility that the Affordable Care Act may be too politically tough to kill.
But one of the speakers, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), told a room of about 140 health agents and brokers in New Orleans that he thinks there’s still hope for getting major changes to the ACA commercial health insurance provisions, including the ACA public health insurance exchange, provisions, through Congress.
Cassidy recently released a major ACA overhaul bill proposal, the Healthcare Accessibility, Empowerment and Liberty Act of 2016, together with Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas).
Related: Sessions-Cassidy PPACA overhaul bill, dissected
The proposed bill would repeal ACA coverage mandates, let a state decide for itself whether to keep its ACA health insurance exchange, expand the health savings account program, and support efforts by physicians to start all-cash concierge medical practices.
Many say that making major ACA change legislation law could be difficult, even if Donald Trump becomes president and the Republicans retain majorities in the House and Senate, because Republicans would need a supermajority to get an ACA-changer bill through the Senate, even using the simplified process available to budget reconciliation bills. To get a more comprehensive ACA-changer bill through Congress, supporters would probably need at least 60 firm votes in the Senate to get the bill to the Senate floor, skeptics say.
For a look at why Cassidy thinks the Sessions-Cassidy proposal, or some future version based partly on the proposal, could move forward, based on his remarks at the HAFA meeting, and a video of his remarks, read on:
In some “Blue” states, individual policy out-of-pocket costs are soaring along with premiums. (Image: Thinkstock)
1. Some Democratic lawmakers now represent states with very high individual health insurance prices.
“People cannot afford $1,600 a month [in premiums] and a $10,000 family deductible,” Cassidy said.