For Payers, Heightened Risk to ACA May Not Spell Doom

In a year when a pandemic and a presidential election are already fueling high levels of uncertainty, the Sept. 18 death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — which could tip the scales in favor of striking down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — was hardly welcome news for health insurers. However, industry analysts and legal experts say there are plenty of reasons not to hit the panic button just yet.

“This definitely increases the chance of the Supreme Court striking down the full ACA. But we’re going from a pretty low likelihood base,” says Chris Sloan, an associate principal at consulting firm Avalere Health. “The odds are still really stacked against anything materially changing for the ACA.”

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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