Facing possible ACA repeal, Missouri health execs remain hopeful about reform

Medicaid expansion was unlikely in Missouri before Tuesday’s elections. And now that the Missouri legislature is expected to move even further to the right, it appears to be dead on arrival.

However, proponents of expanding Medicaid eligibility haven’t given up hope that health coverage can be extended to thousands of Missourians currently going without.

Although President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress have made no bones about their desire to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, that’s a lot easier said than done.

Republicans could make good on their threat of getting rid of some provisions of the ACA simply by repealing them through a budget reconciliation bill. Such bills can’t be filibustered. And many of those provisions –the mandate to have health insurance or pay a penalty, for example, or the subsidies, or the requirement that employers provide health benefits – are the ones that make the health insurance market work.

So unless those provisions are retained in any replacement law, it’s not clear where things are headed if the ACA is scrapped. But Charlie Shields, CEO of Truman Medical Centers in Kansas City and a former Republican member of the Missouri Senate, remains hopeful about the prospects of health care reform, noting that with so much attention being paid to health care issues, things can’t help but improve in the long run.

Read more: KCUR


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