Salt Lake City, Utah- (ABC4 Utah) – President Elect, Donald Trump has pledged to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and do it quick.
Local advocates have come to grips with that, but say for the next year or two consumers can still count on their coverage.
It’s President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, but the days are numbered for the Affordable Care Act.
The ACA became law under a cloud of controversy, not one republican vote.
Now, the incoming Republican President says getting rid of it is one of the first things he’ll do.
“We’re going to see a repeal of the Affordable Care Act within the first month or two of the new administration,” said Jason Stevenson, with Utah Health Policy Project.
But, Stevenson says the replacement could take years to implement.
He says for now, consumers with a plan under the ACA can rest assured.
“There will be a symbolic vote in January to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but it’s not going to take away the insurance in 2017 and probably not in 2018. It’s going to take a while to figure this out,” said Stevenson.
Stevenson says his organization and others will be watching as republicans craft their new plan.
They will be pushing to keep the more popular elements of the ACA, like children being able to stay on their parents plan until they turn 26 and the protections against preexisting conditions.
“That’s going to be the number one battle for health reform going forward. What we might get is a plan that says preexisting conditions are protected, but there’s going to be a lot of trap doors, a lot of cracks that people are going to fall through just just like they used to before the Affordable Care Act,” said Stevenson.
As chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Utah Senator, Orrin Hatch stands to play a key role in reforming health care.
His Patient Care Act could be a blueprint for the new republican plan.
In a statement he tells ABC4 Utah:
“With a history that runs deep in bipartisanship, we will renew our efforts to replace Obamacare with common-sense reforms that will lower costs and increase choice.”
In an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes, trump said he is willing to consider keeping protections for preexisting conditions and allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until they are 26.