Legislation overturning the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of the small-group insurance market is likely to get a look this fall, according to multiple sources on and off Capitol Hill, and it may be the Obamacare “fix” with the best chance of becoming law.
All the usual caveats apply: Republicans would have to convince the rank-and-file to accept a smaller-scale change to the law while waiting for full repeal. Democrats must be willing to agree to any change at all. Nothing involving Obamacare comes easy.
But of all the “fix” bills floating around the Capitol, the small-group provision might have the most working in its favor: It has bipartisan support, costs little to nothing to change, and even some Obamacare supporters say the law could function fine with the alteration.
There is also a looming deadline, as the ACA’s mandate that states increase the definition of their small-group market from employers with 50 or fewer employees to 100 or fewer will start to take effect in some states on Jan. 1. Bills in the House and the Senate would nix that requirement, instead leaving the definition at the historical norm of 50 while allowing states to set it higher if they choose.