Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration repealed the penalties associated with the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate in the tax act that passed in December. Now they need to replace the mandate with something that will address rising premiums and command broader support. Automatic enrollment into health insurance plans is a good place to start.
As the discussion over the future of health reform continues in the United States Senate, some Republicans are looking for ways to boost coverage levels, help stabilize insurance markets, and lower health costs. For years, the U.S. has had insurance enrollment levels below what was possible because of lower than desirable take-up of existing options.
If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs in the King v. Burwell case, Congress will have the opportunity to advance health care policies that expand consumer choice, increase coverage, deliver better value for the dollar, and allow state governments more say over health care policy.
Congressional Republicans are engaged in an important internal discussion over how best to use the arcane procedural mechanism known as “budget reconciliation.” Making the right decision about how to employ reconciliation could be the difference between a successful start to a conservative policy revival, or a lost year.
The Republican victory in the midterm election was decisive. Now the victors must chart a sensible course for the next two years—one that demonstrates they can be trusted as America’s governing party and sets the table for 2016.
Republicans are in a strong position as the midterm election approaches. They are nearly certain to retain control of the House of Representatives in the next Congress and may pick up a few seats to add to their majority. They are also poised to make gains in the Senate, perhaps even adding the six seats necessary to take control of the upper chamber—and maybe more.