WASHINGTON (Gray DC) Given all the rhetoric out of our nation's capital about repealing the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, is there any point in still enrolling in the program?
"What's important to remember is that the Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land," said Kevin Griffis, the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs with the Department of Health and Human Services.
Griffis is urging Americans to participate in open enrollment, despite all of the uncertainty.
“What we've heard from Democrats and Republicans, as well as insurance companies, is that if folks come in and sign up for coverage that starts in 2017, that coverage is going to be honored." Griffis explained. "That's a contract you have with a private company, and they are going to keep that contract.”
Donald Trump's victory means his campaign promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act may soon become a reality. Republicans say it will be their first order of business once they return to Congress in January 2017.
“This has been a very, very controversial law, we have an obligation to the American people to change it," said Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the Senate Majority Leader during a press conference last week.
Griffis points out, while GOP lawmakers are eager to act swiftly on a repeal, there's hardly consensus on how to replace it.
“The idea that you can repeal the law and then delay coming up with a replacement. We don’t think that’s going to work," Griffis said. "We think that’s going to look more like repeal and collapse.”
However, Bob Moffit with the Heritage Foundation says the damage is already done because Obamacare is destroying individual and small group markets.
“We are looking at 25 percent premium increases nationwide," Moffit explained. "We are looking at deductibles that are enormous, breathtaking deductibles.”
Moffit says it's now up to Republicans to ensure a smooth transition for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
“Congress and the new administration have to send the signal that they are going to stabilize these markets, they've got to do that soon," Moffit said.
These are uncertain times, and it’s unclear how plans to repeal and replace Obamacare will shake out. But, experts say those with existing policies should renew their coverage by December 15 in order to have coverage starting in the new year.