True to his history with the ACA, former President Donald Trump has once again voiced plans for dismantling the nearly 14-year-old healthcare law.
Just when you thought the ACA was safe from the clutches of political debate, the 2024 Republican frontrunner spoke out against it, specifically saying that “(t)he cost of Obamacare is out of control, plus, it’s not good Healthcare. I’m seriously looking at alternatives.”
Trump’s comments are in response to a Wall Street Journal op-ed that discusses the challenges of increasing healthcare costs. Trump went on to say the Republican party should “never give up” trying to replace it.
As we recently wrote, ACA repeal and replace rhetoric has been largely absent from the 2024 presidential Republican debate–that is, until now. And even though Trump’s ACA commentary is getting a lot of attention, he has yet to reveal any details about what an ACA replacement would look like.
Conflicting Views of the ACA within the Republican Party
What’s most unique about this situation is that many Republicans are choosing not to support Trump’s claim, perhaps because of a lack of specifics surrounding it. Senator Bill Cassidy, a top Republican on the Senate Health Committee, for example, replied to Trump’s statement with “I spend my [time] on things that can pass,” according to a report by Axios.
Senators Chuck Grassley and Susan Collins shared similar sentiments, suggesting that at this point, the ACA is too entrenched in U.S. healthcare. Their positions seek to amend the law to improve healthcare costs, as opposed to replacing it entirely.
Other Republican lawmakers, however, have signaled an interest in Trump’s proposal to repeal and replace the ACA, including Texas Senator John Cornyn, who openly said he would “be interested to hear exactly how” Trump would approach repeal of the law.
Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, who is predicted to lead the finance committee should Republicans regain the Senate, also expressed interest in Trump’s proposal. However, he’s focused more on lowering costs and rolling back Medicaid expansion and ACA subsidies, rather than replacing the landmark healthcare law.
ACA is Called into Question
With discussions of an ACA repeal and replace percolating, it begs the question–is the ACA in jeopardy again? The answer is a resounding no.
As we’ve covered previously, the ACA is stronger than ever, and popularity of the healthcare law continues to grow. Nearly 60% of Americans currently view the ACA favorably, according to a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation. That’s a near record-high in the history of the law and one that solidifies the ACA’s position in American healthcare.
With over 40 million Americans receiving coverage through state and federal ACA marketplaces, states amending regulations to codify portions of the healthcare law into their legislature, and provisions like preventive care services ensuring greater access to free vaccinations like COVID-19, it’s clear the healthcare law is here to stay.
ACA Remains Law of the Land
Organizations that have been seeking an end to the ACA should reevaluate their position.
Moreover, IRS enforcement of the Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions, also known as the Employer Mandate, is continuing to ramp up, demonstrating a zero-tolerance policy for ACA non-compliance.
Organizations that lack clarity on the details of the Employer Mandate portion of ACA should be aware that it requires Applicable Large Employers, or those with at least 50 full-time and full-time equivalent employees, to offer affordable Minimum Essential Coverage that also meets Minimum Value.
Failing to comply can result in penalties via Letter 226J, which the tax agency is currently issuing for the 2021 tax year, and is expected to begin assessing penalties for the 2022 tax year during early 2024.
While the IRS becomes more efficient in identifying and assessing instances of non-compliance, it may issue penalties from years prior, since the ACA has no statute of limitations.
If you need assistance managing compliance with the ACA, contact Trusaic. We’ve been helping enterprise organizations manage, track, and file their ACA requirements to the IRS and state governments since reporting was first required in 2015.
To understand any inherent ACA compliance risks within your organization, take a few minutes to get your ACA Vitals score below.
For more information on Letter 226J, including best practices for responding to the penalty notice, download our white paper.