Featured in Government News of the Week, Dec. 12, 2016; featured Health Business Daily Story, Dec. 16, 2016

Gingrich: Republicans Will Be Cautious in ACA Replacement

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December 12, 2016Volume 26Issue 44

In their quest to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Republican lawmakers will be cautious in their approach, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said during a Dec. 7 webinar sponsored by the law firm Dentons, where he is now a senior advisor.

“There is a growing awareness — and this certainly will be [President-elect Donald] Trump’s position — to not leap into the unknown by saying ‘let’s repeal all this and figure out later how to replace it,’” he said. They don’t want to repeat President Obama’s “mistake of inventing something, which then becomes the center of a fight for the next eight years. There will be a little more caution than you would expect.”

Health Plan Week

Gingrich noted there is almost 100% agreement that some provisions of the ACA — such as allowing adult children to remain on a parent’s insurance plan until age 26, and offering coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions — would need to remain. But he indicated the individual mandate will almost certainly be eliminated, which would create the need to build high-risk pools. He also said Republican lawmakers will want to give greater authority to governors and encourage states to develop new coverage models. Lawmakers also will need to work with insurance carriers to build a viable system of health coverage for the self-insured and very small businesses, which he says were most negatively impacted by the ACA.

As they craft their ACA replacement proposal, Gingrich urged lawmakers to ignore the Congressional Budget Office. CBO was “so wrong in scoring Obamacare that it would be stupid to allow the handful of petty bureaucrats…to pretend they can define policy for the whole country.” He also said Republicans should try to recruit their Democratic colleagues to gain other perspectives and to create a system of “intellectual checks and balances.”

© 2016 by Atlantic Information Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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