Thursday, May 31, 2018

New Jersey takes strong action against ACA sabotage: A look-back

As Republican repeal of the ACA's individual mandate loomed last fall, potential remedies for states became self-evident, notwithstanding many political roadblocks. No one had ever challenged a state's authority to impose an individual mandate. And state reinsurance programs had already proved their worth and obtained federal funding.

New Jersey, with strong Democratic majorities in both houses of the legislature and a newly elected progressive governor, was one likely proving ground -- notwithstanding the mandate's unpopularity and the state's fiscal woes. Progressives committed to a working individual market and resumed progress expanding healthcare access were eager to see these remedies tried -- under the tight schedule imposed by insurers' June 20 deadline to file rate requests. The legislature came through, passing mandate and reinsurance bills on April 12. After a long and rather conspicuous silence, Governor Murphy signed them yesterday.

Below is a compendium of my posts and articles on this front, as well as outside efforts with BlueWaveNJ and the NJ for Health Care Coalition that I've been involved in. They address the fiscal challenges as well as the case for the bills.

Sabotage judo: States can turn individual mandate repeal to their advantage (12/14/18)
Impose a mandate and use the revenue to help fund reinsurance

How Gov. Murphy can protect NJ from Obamacare sabotage (NJ Spotlight, 1/17/18)
Specifics for New Jersey -- e.g. death spirals past

New Jersey bill aims to block Trump's proposed rule for Association Health Plans (3/3/18)
The mandate bill requires small group coverage for small biz employees

BlueWaveNJ testimony in support of individual mandate and reinsurance bills (3/8/18)
Highlights experience of individual market enrollees paying full freight

NJ is poised to fight off ACA sabotage: Is Gov. Murphy aboard? (NJ Spotlight, 3/10/18)
The delay was getting worrisome

NJ for Health Care Coalition letter urging governor's signature on mandate/reinsurance bills (5/30/18)
Addresses financial concerns as well as need for individual market relief

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