Repeal of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act is not going to happen overnight, writes Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute. Changes will be small and incremental. So what’s in store for American consumers, patients, doctors, hospitals, insurers, businesses and taxpayers? Mr. Tanner explains:
1. More choices for buying insurance
“You may have to pay more to pay more for insurance that covers some providers and conditions, but you’ll also be able to buy cheaper, less-comprehensive insurance if you want to.”
2. Less wide-ranging — and expensive — “essential benefits package”
“Repeal will mean more of an a la carte approach to insurance, based on individual consumer preference. … President Trump can take action by executive order to repeal some of the requirements that President Obama included.”
3. The reviled individual mandate? Gone
“People will even have the choice not to buy insurance at all … Going without insurance may not necessarily be a wise choice, but it does re-establish a fundamental limit to state power over the individual. And it allows young and healthy people to purchase low-cost catastrophic coverage that makes much more sense for them.”
4. Shop for insurance across state lines
“Allowing consumers to shop across state lines will force some much-needed competition into the insurance market. It will also help prevent New York regulators from recreating the failures of ObamaCare at the state level.”
5. Expansion of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
“HSAs will most likely allow much larger tax-free contributions to these accounts, and allow them to be used for more health-related expenses, including insurance premiums. That would mean that you — not your boss — would be able to choose your insurance plan.”
6. More Portability for Health Insurance
Consumers could use their HSA to pay premiums, which will mean they’ll be less likely to lose insurance coverage when changing or losing jobs.
According to Mr. Tanner, “most consumers will find themselves with more and better insurance choices after ObamaCare is repealed.”
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