ACA QUANDARY: REPEAL OR PROP UP?Big Issues to Watch: How will the national budget reconciliation be treated – will it go back to the existing law or move on to welfare reform & will they use it for both, or nothing?More Review Over the 340-B Program. A judge last week ruled against hospitals’ effort to block $1.6 billion in cuts to the federal drug discount program, but allowed them to re-file the lawsuit once the cuts took effect on 1-1-18 – and the American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges and America’s Essential Hospitals say they’ll continue to pursue the case.There’s also likely to be fallout from a recent decision to dismiss the remainder of his HIV/AIDS advisory council last week. The move sparked angry protests from advocates.WHAT LIES AHEAD IN 2018Policy watcher update predictions in the coming days and weeks so far: Congress has yet passed any of the health care extenders, must be ‘resolved’.Everyone Is Watching ACA Mandate Repeal Fallout: Looking for insurer responses to the tax bill’s repeal of the individual mandate penalties, both their plans to participate in the 2019 individual market and the size of the surcharges they will likely build into their rates. The positive expectation is optimistic that state and federal policy makers will respond with practical policies that will protect the individual market and meet the strong demand for insurance.American Health Policy Institute – Expects More Stable Year: Predictions are that the health care temperature will go down a bit as both Washington and the health care industry adjust to the new status quo.American Action Forum Prediction: 2018 is unlikely to be the year that entitlement reforms shore up the financial foundations of Medicare, Medicaid and the ACA, and thus in the process, will put the overall federal budget on a sustainable trajectory.Source: Washington ACA Status: 1-2-18

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