As a result of last week’s midterm elections, in which the Republicans expanded their Senate majority and the Democrats took the majority in the House, there has been much speculation about what will or will not occur when Congress convenes in January. In considering the impacts of the elections on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), major changes to the law are highly unlikely. The newly Democrat-controlled House would probably not progress any anti-ACA bills, and the new partisan divide that the midterm elections created in Congress likely solidifies the existing state of the major ACA provisions for the foreseeable future.
Because any adjustments to the law would need bipartisan support, they would most likely be to the law’s more minor provisions, that such as delaying the implementation of the “Cadillac Tax” on expensive employer-sponsored health plans or simplifying employer reporting requirements. A Bill (H.R. 5155) introduced in March by three Democratic Reps (Richard Neal (MA), Frank Pallone (NJ), and Bobby Scott (VA)) proposes expanding upon the ACA’s infrastructure to develop new federal assistance channels and attempts to reverse some of the previously implemented Republican efforts to undermine the law. This bill, with some minor adjustments, may appeal to some Republicans, and will likely be a starting place for the House Democrats to attempt to use their majority control to further solidify the ACA. We will be keeping an eye on the bill and on all ACA-related legislation.
If you have any questions about the impact of the midterm elections, or any other ACA topic, please contact your First Advantage account manager or your legal counsel. First Advantage has been offering ACA compliance and reporting services since the inception of ACA, and we will continue to keep clients informed of any ACA changes.