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Health Care Reform – Repealing, Replacing Or Repairing

Health Law Center Donna CraigHealth Care Reform is changing the way health care providers and facilities provide care to their patients, how the law will impact the health insurance provided by businesses and employers in Michigan, and the options patients will have to obtain and maintain health insurance. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was enacted on March 23, 2010, then amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act on March 30, 2010.  Together these laws have been known by various names and acronyms, such as “PPACA”, the Affordable Care Act or “ACA”, Health Care Reform and Obamacare.

Seven years after the ACA was enacted, the Republican lawmakers and President Trump have vowed to repeal and replace the ACA by introducing the American Health Care Act (“AHCA”).  By introducing the AHCA, Republicans are seeking ways to ease federal requirements that health insurance companies must provide and individuals must maintain “essential benefits”. The ACA’s “essential benefits” include outpatient care, emergency services, hospitalization, pregnancy, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance abuse treatment, prescription drugs, rehabilitation, laboratory and diagnostic tests, preventative and wellness services, and pediatric care, including dental and vision services for minors.

In a letter to congressional leaders the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, the American Nurses Association, the American Association of Retired Persons and other organizations have voiced concerns about removing essential benefits requirements and other objections to the AHCA.

If the AHCA passes, it is unclear what long term impact it will have on individuals, (including existing Medicaid expansion program recipients), employers, health care professionals, hospitals and clinics, and insurance companies.  Donna J. Craig, RN, JD, a nurse attorney has focused her attention on analyzing the ACA since its passage and will continue to do so as efforts to repeal, replace or repair the ACA are taken.

If you are a patient, health care provider, employer, business or health insurance plan, and have questions regarding how repealing, replacing and/or repairing the Affordable Care Act may impact you, please contact The Health Law Center, PLC at donna@healthlawcenterplc.com.