Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Affordable Care Act in Light of the Mid-term Elections

New Brunswick, N.J. (Nov. 6, 2018) – Rutgers scholar Michael Gusmano can provide insight and analysis on the Trump administration’s efforts to weaken the Affordable Care Act and impact of today’s mid-term elections. 

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — more commonly referred to as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), signed into law by President Obama in 2010 — mandates that every American have health insurance or pay a tax.  Affecting most areas of the U.S. health care system, it is considered the biggest overhaul of the system since the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. 

Trump Administration to “Repeal and Replace” the ACA

“Despite the failure of Congress to ‘repeal and replace’ the ACA, the Trump administration has used a range of executive actions designed to destabilize health insurance marketplaces, including limiting advertising and outreach efforts of the federal government, expanding access to short-term plans that do not meet ACA coverage standards and withdrawing cost-sharing reduction payments to insure companies,” said Gusmano, a Rutgers School of Public Health expert in the politics of health reform and theories of policy analysis.

Medicaid Impact

Gusmano said the Trump administration has encouraged states to submit 1,115 waivers that impose work requirements and other provisions designed to make it harder for people to qualify for Medicaid expansion. 

“The jury is still out on the longer-term impact of the administration’s efforts to reduce Medicaid enrollment,” he said. “So far, they have reduced enrollment in the marketplaces, but the overall impact of the efforts has been limited.”

He said one of the reasons has been that many states, particularly those that have expanded Medicaid, have adopted laws to counter the federal government’s efforts to undermine the ACA. Gusmano’s current research is tracking these state level efforts.

 Biggest Issue of 2018 Mid-term Election

One of the biggest threats to the ACA is a court case in Texas (Texas v. United States) in which 18 Republican state attorneys general and two Republican governors have filed suit in a federal district claiming that without the tax, the ACA mandate is unconstitutional. 

“Fourteen Democratic state attorneys general plus one additional state and Washington, D.C., filed a brief in opposition to the plaintiffs in June 2018, which has become a big issue in several of the 2018 mid-term attorney general races,” Gusmano said. “This is another way in which the mid-term elections may influence what happens to the ACA over the next two years.”

Media interested in interviewing Gusmano can contact Caitlin Coyle, [email protected], 848-445-1955