Affordable Care Act Update

What’s new?

  • Open enrollment for 2019 Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage plans will begin on November 1, 2018 and end on December 15, 2018.
  • In 2017, 8.8 million Americans – 339,740 in Illinois – enrolled in Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage for the 2018 plan year.
  • AMITA Health promotes enrollment with our communities by providing navigators in our hospitals, a phone number and website to connect people with the information they needed to get enrolled.
  • For a history of the ACA repeal and replace debate, please see Resources below.

What’s the issue?

  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often shortened to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and nicknamed “Obamacare” was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010.
  • The ACA transformed the non-group insurance market in the United States, and:
    • mandated that most residents have health insurance.
    • significantly expanded public insurance and subsidized private insurance coverage.
    • raised revenues from a variety of new taxes.
    • reduced and reorganized spending under Medicare, the nation’s largest health insurance plan.
    • introduced a number of new payment models for health systems and care givers that focus on value instead of volume.
  • Due to the ACA, the uninsured rate in the United States is the lowest is has been in over 50 years.
  • When the Trump Administration came into office, the Republican majority in Congress made it a top priority to repeal and/or replace the ACA.
  • Since legislative efforts have stalled, executive actions are being implemented to destabilize ACA marketplaces and attempt to increase pressure on legislators to repeal the law.

Why does it matter?

  • To date, proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would severely hurt Illinois patients.
  • The proposals have all attempted to roll-back Medicaid expansion, remove safeguards for patients with pre-existing conditions and reduce subsidies for the purchase of insurance.
  • As a result, Illinois would experience:
    • Job losses and reduction of funding in our local communities due to this legislation could push the Illinois economy into a deep recession.
    • Illinois could lose up to $21.2 billion in Medicaid funding and 343,000 people in Illinois would lose Medicaid health care coverage.
  • If CSR subsidy payments are not made, insurers will almost certainly be forced to increase premiums, with the congressional Budget Office projecting increases of at least 20 percent.
  • The health insurance sold through Association Health Plans could be exempt from consumer protections such as the essential health benefits standard and the prohibition on charging higher premiums to people with preexisting conditions, resulting in increased risk for higher premiums and fewer plan options on the individual market. These plans historically have also had issues with fraud and insolvency.

What is the AMITA Health perspective?

  • No repeal, without a simultaneous and adequate replacement. As the largest Catholic health system in Illinois, AMITA Health opposes proposals that would severely limit access to care, especially for the most vulnerable among us. Completely repealing the ACA without an immediate and adequate replacement directly impacts the well-being of both patients and providers.
  • AMITA Health fundamentally believes in access to health care. Ensuring access to health care is a fundamental belief of our ministry. Any change to the ACA should maintain coverage gains that have provided many people in Illinois with the coverage they need to proactively seek care.  We don’t believe that 24 million Americans should lose access to coverage.
  • Illinois is already disadvantaged. Restructuring Medicaid would further the disparities Illinois already faces with funding. By placing caps on Medicaid spending, services for low-income families would be decreased, the amount of uncompensated care would increase and shift the difference to paying patients who would likely see their insurance costs increase.
  • Continue to build upon the ACA. We welcome the opportunity to work with our elected officials on meaningful changes to health care policy that would help accelerate the triple aim of reduced costs, improved outcomes and increased patient satisfaction. We acknowledge that the ACA is not perfect and want to work to improve it in meaningful ways.


AMITA Health Resources

Materials developed by AMITA Health to help you understand, communicate and engage on issues important to health care and our ministry.

Affordable Care Act 2017 Timeline

ACA Affordable Care Act AHCA BCRA Medicaid Obamacare + View Resource

What’s Next for Health Care in DC?

Possible next steps in the efforts to repeal or repair the ACA

View Resource

External Resources

Information from third-party organizations that can be resources for you to continue to learn about the issues at hand.

How Premiums Are Changing In 2018

Use maps from the Kaiser Family Foundation to view how premiums are changing for 2018 by looking at the change in the lowest-cost bronze, silver and gold plans by county.

You can change the maps to view a variety of income levels and what they would pay after receiving a tax credit.

View Resource

Recent Key Developments on the ACA and Future Action

This presentation slide from the National Journal shows a timeline of ACA developments, recent action and potential future action.

View Resource

Compare Proposals to Replace The Affordable Care Act

President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have committed to repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). How do their replacement proposals compare to the ACA? How do they compare to each other?

ACA AHCA BCRA Medicaid + View Resource

Featured News

Featured news includes articles from multiple viewpoints and is designed to keep you abreast of the current debate around this issue. This information should not be construed as our point of view.

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CMS to expand requirements for ACA navigators

The CMS will take more time to judge not-for-profit navigator groups tasked with Affordable Care Act enrollment outreach on their performance, which is tied to ...

Modern Healthcare + May 23, 2019 + View Article

ACA-Related Bill Fails in Illinois House

The Illinois House Friday failed to pass legislation meant to protect health insurance benefits under Obamacare.  The measure would prevent Illinois from seeking waivers from ...

WSIU + April 26, 2018 + View Article