Future of health care remains unclear after recent vote
(KMSP) - The U.S. Senate saw high drama over the “skinny repeal” health care vote early Friday morning and now some experts say it's time to take a step back.
Arizona Senator John McCain cast the deciding killing vote against the so-called skinny repeal proposal.
While some lawmakers certainly want to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Donald Trump says it's best to let Obamacare die and then come with a plan to fix it.
One former Obama administration official says that idea would hurt millions of Americans.
“People are worried that somehow their health care status is tied up in some political dynamic that they can't control,” said Andy Slavitt, who was the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Obama. “We really have to stop doing that as a country. Other people are going to be insecure."
Slavitt was in charge of implementing key sections of the Affordable Care Act. He and other experts agree that it's time to lawmakers to take a step back and really consider how best to make health care less expensive and fix the parts of Obamacare that aren't working.
Experts say there are two things the Trump administration can do right now to lower premiums: enforcing the individual mandate and making subsidy payments to insurers to help pay for health care costs.
“We know because analysts have said this that the increases in premiums can be decreased by two-thirds if Trump simply enforces the law that's on the books, and makes the subsidy payments to people who have low-income payment,” said Slavitt.
In the meantime, experts say the current system is beginning to stabilize a bit with fewer insurers pulling out of exchanges.
“On the other hand, there are a lot of mixed message coming out of Washington, D.C.,” said Ezra Golberstein, an associate professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. “Right now about what the administration is or is not going to do about whether they want the markets to be, so stabilize. So I think, we're all going to be staying tuned.