In a new article in The Conversation, Political Science Professor Roy Meyers argues that any repeal, replacement, or revision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) should have established, specific goals for reform and build on existing processes for tracking attainment of those goals.
In his article, Meyers, who is an expert in American politics and public administration and policy, traced the origins of the ACA and the accountability measures established in 2010 to track progress of the law.
“Some of the goals the Obama administration set for the health sector included how many people it aimed to enroll in the new health insurance marketplaces, the share of the non-elderly population still uninsured and hospital readmission rates,” Meyers wrote. “As one example, the Health and Human Services Department wanted to get 10 million people enrolled in ACA health insurance marketplaces in 2016, up from its target of 9 million the year before. In March 2016, the department reported that it had surpassed its goal by 2.7 million.”
Meyers added that any repeal or reform process could face several potential roadblocks due to the Byrd rule, which ensures reconciliation bills affect spending or revenue. “One of its elements also says that provisions with a different purpose from the bill in question – such as, in the ACA repeal’s case, killing a health care regulation – have to be excluded. And since the health sector is very complex, any effort to repeal and replace the ACA would have many provisions that would be prohibited by the Byrd rule,” wrote Meyers.
While Meyers notes that he thinks some parts of the ACA should be revised, he argues that it should be done through a bipartisan process.
“If Democrats and Republicans jointly agree on establishing specific goals for the reform, building on the existing process for monitoring attainment of those targets, it could lead to measurable improvements in the health system. In doing so, the ‘repeal and replace’ campaign slogan could be transformed into ‘repair with results.’”
Read the full article in The Conversation.
Image: Former President Barack Obama speaks to a joint session of Congress regarding health care reform, September 9, 2009. Public domain image, whitehouse.gov photo by Lawrence Jackson.