February 03, 2017
The leadoff witness in the first hearing in the House of Representatives on replacement of the Affordable Care Act was Dr. Tevi Troy, CEO of our American Health Policy Institute (AHPI), who analyzed the cost burden of the ACA to employer-sponsored health care and advocated that any replacement of the law should strengthen ERISA preemption and maintain the tax exclusion on employer-sponsored health insurance. Dr. Troy said, "While the public debate over the ACA appropriately focuses on the 20 million Americans who are receiving coverage through its exchanges and Medicaid expansion, the Act also significantly, and in many cases unnecessarily, increased the regulatory requirements and burdens on employment-based health care that covers more than 177 million Americans." In order to move toward a more patient-centered system, Dr. Troy suggested that we look to the private sector for transformation and touted the Health Transformation Alliance (HTA) as an example of employer-driven innovation in health care. Dr. Troy further noted that as health care reform moves forward, federal policies should leverage and encourage flexibility in employer-sponsored health care benefits to enable large employers to continue to make these innovations. Such policies, he argued, will be critical to making the nation's workforce healthier and more productive and making the overall American health care system more fiscally sustainable. Separately, HR Policy, as part of the National Coalition on Benefits, sent a letter to the White House Domestic Policy Council urging the Trump Administration to take "immediate steps to ease the burdens imposed on employers by the ACA's mandatory reporting obligations." Meanwhile, in a Washington Post op-ed, Dr. Troy observed, "The ACA's cardinal sin is its focus on access first, while doing little to address cost... Market-based reforms can both lower costs and lead to health insurance coverage for more Americans. Indeed, any health care reform that can’t compete with the ACA on coverage is sure to face significant political headwinds. It also would make it far less likely that Democrats can be persuaded to support replacement legislation."