Health policy watchers who appeared at a conference in New York on Wednesday seemed to be even more uncertain about the future than they were back in January, when the Trump administration was starting to sketch out its plans for replacing the Affordable Care Act.
But panelists did make some cautious guesses about what could, possibly happen in Washington in the next few months at the event, which was organized by Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings.
The S&P panelists’ views could have some extra importance, because S&P ratings affect companies’ and government agencies’ access to capital, and S&P aimed the conference at representatives from mutual funds, reinsurers and other organizations involved with supplying capital for U.S. insurers, U.S. hospitals, and other organizations involved in the U.S. health care system.
Here’s a look at three ideas about the near future in health policymaking that came out of the conference.
1. Congress will, somehow, keep the Children’s Health Insurance Program alive.
Congress let CHIP authorization expire Saturday.
Ipsita Smolinski, managing director at Capitol Street, said it seems likely that Congress will find some way to renew CHIP authorization.
“Members of Congress would get quite a bit of flak for not extending health insurance for kids,” Smolinski said.
Smolinski also said she expects to see Congress move away, at least temporarily, from debating ambitious “repeal and replace” strategies for dealing with the Affordable Care Act.
“I think we have this pivot toward stabilization” of existing ACA programs, Smolinski said.
2. If the Affordable Care Act stays in place, states will continue to try to modify their versions of it.