Home Affordable Care Act ACA Popularity Remains Strong as Midterms Approach

ACA Popularity Remains Strong as Midterms Approach

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by Robert Sheen

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The midterm elections are less than a month away on November 6. With an estimated 20 million Americans at risk of losing health coverage if the ACA is repealed, much is at stake. It’s no surprise that polls continue to show that voters have prioritized healthcare as a top issue for the midterm elections.

  • A HuffPost/YouGov poll released in April 2018 found the top issue among registered voters was health care.
  • The Kaiser Family Foundation’s September 2018 Health Tracking Poll found that pre-existing conditions was a widespread concern with a majority of the public saying it is “very important” that the ACA’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions ensuring guaranteed coverage (75 percent) and community rating (72 percent) remain law.
  • A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll found that voters put the economy at the top of the list of issues for the midterm elections, followed closely by health care and combating corruption and special-interest influence in Washington. Voters who said health care was their top issue heavily favored a Democratic-led Congress, 58% to 34%.

Most polls show Democrats, who generally support the ACA, taking control of at least the House of Representatives, and possibly the Senate. However, if a Republican majority remains in Congress, should we expect to see another attempt to repeal the ACA?

Maybe not, as some Republicans are advocating for keeping the protections provided by the ACA. For instance, Republican Kevin Cramer, the republican candidate running for Senate in North Dakota has committed to ensuring that people with pre-existing conditions receive coverage, a core component under the ACA. In the past, Cramer had voted against the ACA.

Democrats, as expected, are campaigning on the successes of the ACA. It is a winning issue with most Americans as popularity for the law has been growing since last year. Roughly two-thirds of Americans said they want to “either keep or modify” the ACA in an opinion poll conducted by Reuters/Ipsos in July 2017. That feeling doesn’t seem to have changed. A September 2018 poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that 50% of adults are in favor of the ACA, compared to only 40% who are not.

What is interesting is that neither the Republican or Democratic parties have mentioned doing anything about the ACA’s Employer Mandate.

You might think as an employer that you are better off with a Republican majority in Congress. So far, that has not proven to be the case with the ACA. For instance, Republicans have shown little interest in making changes to the ACA’s Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions (ESRP), commonly referred to as the Employer Mandate.

Under the Employer Mandate, Applicable Large Employers (ALEs), organizations with 50 or more full-time employees and full-time equivalent employees, are required to offer Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) to at least 95% of their full-time workforce (and their dependents) whereby such coverage meets Minimum Value (MV) and is affordable for the employee or be subject to IRS 4980H penalties.

Employers who fail to comply with the ESRP could be presented with the penalty notice, IRS Letter 226J.

Since President Trump’s first took office, the ACA has been a topic of debate. The run-up to the midterm elections in November will be no different. However, no matter what the outcome of the elections may be, it seems once again that the ACA, and the law’s Employer Mandate, is here to stay.

We’re committed to helping companies reduce risk, avoid penalties, and achieve 100% ACA compliance. For questions about the ACA contact us here.

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ACA Popularity Remains Strong as Midterms Approach
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ACA Popularity Remains Strong as Midterms Approach
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The midterm elections are approaching and the ACA will likely remain as is.
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The ACA Times
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Short URL of this page: https://acatimes.com/giz
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