A Louisiana health insurance agent who dislikes the Affordable Care Act change and replacement proposals coming out of Washington, such as H.R. 1628, has developed his own proposal.
Jeff Holloway says his proposal, for the Healthcare Reconciliation Act of 2017, would keep many of the ACA consumer protection provisions people like, get rid of rules that people hate, and promote the role of licensed health insurance agents and brokers in getting people get covered.
Holloway would start by repealing the ACA.
He would then make Medicaid expansion coverage available to all people earning up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level.
For higher-income people, he would eliminate the individual mandate, the current ACA premium and cost-sharing reduction subsidies, and the ACA public exchange system.
He would keep the ban on medical underwriting and the essential health benefits package.
To make up for the lack of ACA subsidies and the lack of an individual mandate, he would encourage people to get covered by letting them deduct their health insurance premiums from taxable incomes.
Holloway also would eliminate all of the nonprofit exchange plan helpers created by the ACA, such as navigators, and require that health insurance enrollments be done through licensed agents and brokers.
He would eliminate the current open enrollment period system, which is supposed to keep people from using the current ACA ban on medical underwriting as a chance to wait until they get sick to pay for coverage. He would replace that system with a six-month exclusion on coverage for pre-existing conditions when people get covered.
He would also include statements about congressional, individual and insurer responsibility.
In the section on the responsibility of Congress, he states that, “Congress has an ethical and moral responsibility to read and understand any legislation that it writes and enacts.”
He would prohibit the government from refusing to live up to agreements, such as the agreement made through the ACA cost-sharing reduction subsidy program for health insurers, simply because control of Congress changes hands from one party to another party.
In an interview about the proposal, Holloway said he hopes agents will join him in coming up with a practical alternative to the ACA.
“An agent is on the line of fire on this stuff,” he said. “We see what’s working and what’s not working on a day-to-day basis.”
Holloway said he believes that one thing the ACA has done is to reduce Medicare funding by $100 billion.
He believes another concern about the ACA is that the subsidy program appears to be woven into the law in such a way that ACA subsidies may survive even if large sections of the law are repealed.
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