The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been the law of the land for more than six years. Now, however, its future is in doubt. The president-elect has said that he will repeal the act, although he recently also stated that he likes some parts of it. And congressional Republicans have been wanting to repeal the ACA ever since it was enacted.
We do not know how the Trump administration will ultimately deal with the ACA. Under the current law, states can receive an innovation waiver to develop their own approaches to covering state residents. (The Health Security Plan is one such approach.) Will this provision be maintained? Will consumer protections, such as the prohibition against rejecting individuals with preexisting conditions, be continued?
What we do know is that the current situation—rising premiums and copays, drug price increases, a trend toward plans with high deductibles, and decreasing choice of providers—is unsustainable.
The New Mexico Health Security Act, which has been vetted by diverse New Mexicans for years, provides a well-thought-out alternative to the current system. If the ACA's "waiver for state innovation" survives, the Health Security Plan can be enacted in partnership with the ACA. If the ACA is dismantled, our state will desperately need a comprehensive "plan B."
The Health Security Act will be introduced in the 2017 legislative session. Whatever happens with the ACA, the need to pass this legislation is greater than ever.
Some more reading on the future of the ACA, and the problems with dismantling it:
"Republican ACA Repeal Bill Would Unravel the Market Even Before It Goes into Effect." (Center for American Progress, Nov. 16, 2016)
"Repealing Obamacare May Be Easy. Replacing It Won't Be." (Bloomberg View, Nov. 10, 2016)