The first major step in dismantling the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has already been achieved. A final vote of 51-48 paved the way for Obamacare to be replaced as early as next week. Today, the newly formed budget resolution will be presented to the House of Representatives.
“The Senate just took an important step toward repealing and replacing Obamacare by passing the resolution that provides the legislative tools necessary to actually repeal this failed law while we move ahead with smarter health care policies,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement.
Many doctors are dissatisfied with Obamacare and are eager for healthcare reform, but without a comprehensive replacement plan in place this leaves doctors understandably nervous. Repealing all or part of Obamacare has the potential to hurt not only doctors’ abilities to treat their patients, but also their income.
Roughly 52 million Americans under 65 with pre-existing conditions could lose their health insurance if lawmakers’ repeal the Obamacare mandates. If patients lose their insurance, it could interfere with how physicians provides care. For instance, patients that don’t have health insurance may not be able to afford necessary tests or prescriptions.
Additionally, hospitals (rural hospitals, in particular) could face major changes if the replacement rolls back the progress made under the ACA to insure patients and incentivize them to get care before their illnesses require emergency room visits or hospitalization.
While we don’t exactly what changes are in store for 2017 and beyond, they are definitely coming. If you are concerned how changes in the healthcare law could affect your practice, please contact us today.