Governors take pragmatic view of ACA

As millions of their constituents gain health insurance coverage, Democrat and Republican governors gathered in Washington, D.C., last weekend acknowledged that the Affordable Care Act is here for the long haul, according to CBS News.

"The whole dialogue on the Affordable Care Act is about people fighting, causing gridlock and a mess, instead of working on something important like wellness," Gov. Rick Snyder (R-Mich.) told CBS. "But it is the law, so I'm trying to work in that context."

Synder is one of several Republicans whose states expanded Medicaid, CBS reported. Gov. Terry Branstad (R-Iowa) made similar comments, describing ACA implementation as "trying to make the best of a bad situation ... for the people of Iowa."

And Gov. Pete Shumlin (D-Vt.) told CBS that governors' healthcare reform discussions that once "felt like a cockfight" now are more cooperative.

Begrudging or not, gubernatorial ACA acceptance aligns with a calm view of reform taken by payer executives, despite the operational challenges ACA implementation brings.

Governors from both parties told CBS repealing the law would be complicated if not impossible at this time. Yet Republicans plan to focus on healthcare reform--with its bumpy road to implementation--in upcoming midterm elections, the article noted. Conservatives nationwide are pouncing on ACA supporters, reminding voters of HealthCare.gov glitches and canceled individual market plans. Dovetailing with these efforts, the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity spent $27 million on anti-ACA advertising since August, according to the ad tracking firm Kantar Media.

Nevertheless, almost 3.3 million Americans signed up for coverage through ACA marketplaces.

Not every GOP state leader concedes the ACA's permanence, though. "I don't think that it's so deeply entrenched that it can't be repealed," Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) told CBS. "But I do think, as we argue for repeal, we have to show folks what you replace it with." In this vein, GOP senators recently proposed ACA replacement legislation, as FierceHealthPayer reported.

For more:
- here's the CBS article

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