The Election Results and the Future of the ACA


The election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America and the Republican Party’s retention of control of both chambers of Congress has led to increased speculation as to the potential “repeal and replace” plan advocated by the Trump campaign. Certainly, the question of what that actually means and whether it is actually possible are weighing heavily on many minds today.

It is important to remember that the ACA is still the law.  All of the requirements, mandates, and protections continue to apply. 

Although speculation continues regarding President-elect Trump’s ability to retract the law, realistically it is clear that the Trump administration will face a multitude of obstacles on a path to repeal.  President-elect Trump must take into account that many Americans like at least some features of the ACA.  He also must follow established rulemaking processes to revoke or rewrite regulations. This is a tedious and lengthy process made challenging in light of the Republicans’ razor thin margin of control in the Senate.  With at least 47 firm Democratic and independent votes intact, the Trump administration may face an uphill battle in effecting legislative change on the Senate floor. Of course, even if the Trump administration were to eliminate an established regulation, the judicial check on this action may reverse it.

While election returns appear to lead us into uncertain territory, in terms of the ACA, the Employer Mandate, Pay or Play, reporting requirements, and potential penalties for noncompliance are all still firmly in place. Ultimately, any challenges to the law or change or repeal legislation will present difficulties for the President-elect, which highlights the importance of ongoing employer compliance with the law as it exists today.

Contributed by Jess LeDonne, ACA Consultant, First Advantage

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