A Washington policy analyst has told a Wisconsin business group that opposes health reform that efforts to undo the legislation will continue. That's despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act.
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce is the state's biggest business group. It opposed health reform. The trade group recently held a forum on what businesses can expect under the new law. Not all the rules for business are finalized, and Hadley Heath says some may go away. Heath is an analyst with a group in Washington D.C. that focuses on public policy and health care, called the Independent Women's Forum. "We will see in the budget battles some attempts to reduce funding for various parts of the implementation for the (Affordable Care) Act. We will probably see some piecemeal repeal bills."
So far, changes to health reform have been modest: for instance, the repeal of a tax-reporting provision opposed by small business. Still pending are lawsuits over religious freedom, which may alter required contraceptive coverage. Next year the online marketplaces to buy health insurance are supposed to be operating. Heath says the federal government has a huge task on its hands. "The federal government was, I'm sure, prepared to run exchanges in states that said 'no,' but wasn't expecting that 25 states would say no and another 7 states would say, 'We'll run a partnership with you,' for a total of 32 states that are not running an exchange. That's more than half the states in the Union, and creates an implementation question."
Governor Scott Walker has decided Wisconsin will not run a state health exchange. The exchanges are meant to make shopping for health care easier, and will be funded by a tax on health insurance companies.