How will business be impacted if Obamacare goes away?
Over a two-year period, Jim Donelon, Louisiana’s insurance commissioner, has watched statewide participation in the individual health insurance market decline by almost 50%—from a high of 220,000 insured residents in 2016 to 105,000 this year.
Donelon attributes much of the decline to premium rates escalating by more than 50% over the two-year period, prompting leading Louisiana companies to bail out of the market. He says Louisiana health insurance providers—Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, headquartered in Baton Rouge, and Vantage Health Plan—were losing “huge amounts of money” until last year, when the trend reversed.
Which explains why Donelon, when asked by state Attorney General Jeff Landry, was quick to provide a sworn statement detailing the challenges Louisiana has faced since the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
As Business Report details in its recent news feature, Landry was one of 20 attorneys general joining the Texas v. Azar lawsuit, the latest in a series of lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of former President Barack Obama’s signature overhaul of the national health care system.
This lawsuit is hardly the first filed, but what makes the case special, says LSU law professor Edward Richards, is the fact that the U.S. Department of Justice filed a brief largely agreeing with the plaintiffs, explicitly stating it would not defend the ACA in the suit.
While the case still has to play out over a few years, the Trump administration’s position raises the question of whether or not the ACA will even exist in a few years’ time.
If it doesn’t, what would that mean for businesses?