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The White House’s policy shop lacks a clear replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act if the Supreme Court throws out the healthcare law.
Brooke Rollins, acting director of the Domestic Policy Council at the White House, told Insider in an exclusive interview last week that a backup plan is “being worked on” but indicated that administration officials hadn’t settled on a solution.
“Obviously if the Affordable Care Act is struck down, we will be ready,” she said. “If it is not, then we’re going to continue to improve the current system.”
The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the ACA a week after the November 3 election. The Trump administration argues the entire law, which was signed by former President Barack Obama, should be wiped out, threatening coverage for 20 million people.
Democrats, including presidential candidate Joe Biden, have focused on raising alarm about the lawsuit in the weeks leading up to the election and as Senate Republicans rush to confirm the third new conservative Supreme Court justice of the Trump era.
They warn that President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, could be the deciding vote to strike down the law even as the US continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic. Senate Republicans opened confirmation hearings Monday on Barrett’s nomination and want to hold a final floor vote on her lifetime appointment before Election Day.
Rollins told Insider that striking down the law would be “the right way” to go. “We not only think it was unconstitutional, but that it hasn’t worked as promised,” she said.
‘All to be worked out’
Before coming to the White House’s Office of Innovation in early 2018, Rollins was president and CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a powerful conservative organization that was behind the ACA lawsuit that’s now before the Supreme Court. The think tank has pushed for states to take the lead in setting up their own healthcare plans.
Rollins has overseen the Domestic Policy Council since May. The office operates largely behind the scenes but is influential in directing and coordinating the president’s agenda.
She told Insider that if the Supreme Court strikes down the healthcare law the government could “redeploy” the money that’s being used to pay for the law.
Asked whether the funds would go to states to help them set up their own healthcare systems, Rollins said there are “a lot of options” on the table.
“That’s obviously where I think the Republicans have been before, but where this president wants to go is he wants to put patients back in charge of their own healthcare,” she said.
Whether to go through states or through the federal government was “all to be worked out,” she said. Much of the current funding of the law goes to subsidize health insurers rather than providing help directly to patients, she added.
Repeated promises to replace the ACA
The ACA has faced multiple court challenges since becoming law. It once was unpopular in part because it disrupted people’s previous coverage and imposed a fine on the uninsured, and congressional …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Politics