You are here

Trump Administration Still Plans to Scrap Parts of PPACA, HHS Secretary Says

Tom Price takes aim at federal mandates

In testimony before House appropriators, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price has stated that the Trump administration is still determined to dismantle parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) even if Republicans lack the votes to rewrite it, according to an article in the Washington Post.

“What we’re committed to is making sure the American people have access to affordable coverage,” Price said.

Under questioning from Democrats, Price outlined how the HHS could make insurance plans cheaper by scaling back several federal mandates, including what the PPACA currently defines as “essential benefits” in coverage.

He declined to say whether the administration will keep providing cost-sharing subsidies for insurers participating in the federal marketplace. According to insurers, that continuous cash infusion is critical to maintaining the system’s stability.

The White House has pledged to pursue “phase two” of PPACA repeal through executive action. That stage could cover everything from how aggressively the government promotes enrolment under the act to what sort of financial support it gives to prop up the PPACA marketplace, according to the Post.

Insurers are particularly anxious to know whether the cost-sharing subsidies that help people with lower incomes to afford their out-of-pocket costs, which House Republicans have challenged in court as illegal, will continue. According to the Congressional Budget Office, those federal payments will total $7 billion this year and $10 billion in 2018.

Source: Washington Post; March 29, 2017.

Recent Headlines

Despite older, sicker patients, mortality rate fell by a third in 10 years
Study finds fewer than half of trials followed the law
WHO to meet tomorrow to decide on international public heath emergency declaration
Study of posted prices finds wild variations and missing data
Potential contamination could lead to supply chain disruptions
Acasti reports disappointing results for a second Omega-3-based drug
Declining lung cancer mortality helped fuel the progress
Kinase inhibitor targets tumors with a PDGFRA exon 18 mutation
Delayed surgery reduces benefits; premature surgery raises risks