Although the Trump administration and its allies failed to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) last year, they took a number of smaller steps that added up to a big problem: The ACA is now weaker.
Unfortunately, the administration is still seeking to undermine the health-care law, moving forward with proposals that would expand association health plans (AHPs) and short-term insurance plans, both of which have the potential to limit the ability of state insurance commissioners to regulate health plans and cause premiums to rise.
While some claim these proposals would be a boon for small business, small business advocates and health-care experts know we must maintain safeguards that promote affordable health-care coverage and stabilized health insurance markets.
The proposal to expand association health plans threatens both state insurance oversight and market stability. If the administration’s current proposal becomes a rule without offering guarantees that states would retain regulatory authority over these plans, it could wreak havoc on the small-group market.
Mick Mulvaney is something of a novelty among Washington bureaucrats: He seems to want less power.
Mulvaney, as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, just proposed watering down his own agency in order to make it less capable of fulfilling its mission to protect consumers. In doing so, he showed he has no regard for the millions of American small businesses that need fraud protection and want to see Wall Street held accountable for practices that harm our economy.
Not one of Mulvaney’s recommendations would help the CFPB do its job better. He asked lawmakers to put the agency at the mercy of politics by subjecting it to congressional appropriations, instead of funding it through the Federal Reserve as it is now, and said he wants CFPB rules to be subjected to legislative approval. He also believes the president should have direct oversight of the bureau’s director, including the option to remove the director for purely political reasons. Finally, Mulvaney asked for more policing of the agency through the creation an inspector general’s office housed at the agency that would monitor the CFPB’s work.