The GOP may not have to repeal Obamacare as its demise has been occurring for a while.
The GOP is under fire for wanting to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. However, they may not need to look like the bad guy after all. The Obamacare system has been imploding as less healthy people choose to purchase the plans and those who do not qualify for subsidies can’t afford the high priced choices offered.
According to Aetna’s Chief Executive Mark Bertolini, Obamacare is in a current “death spiral”.
And with the termination of two mergers this week (Aetna and Humana) and (Anthem and Cigna), exchanges are looking at slim pickings of who will remain their key insurers.
Humana has stated that they will pull out of all exchanges by the end of this year and Aetna may only remain in four states’s exchanges. In Nebraska they appear to be the only insurance offered.
The Trump administration understands they can’t repeal at the same speed at which the ACA was rolled out as it would again cannonball a fragile system. They’ve been under fire for not acting quickly enough, but being that its only been 3 weeks since President Trump has been in office, it would not be prudent to rush this.
And as it seems, they may not need to repeal it. If health insurers fail to provide choices on the exchanges, consumers will have nothing to purchase. 2018 could be the end of Obamacare as we know it. The GOP may need to now focus even more of their efforts on an immediate replacement of the ACA rather than the specifics of its breakdown.
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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician