What you're not hearing

Updated 6/3/2019 10:08 AM

Remember all the noise Republicans in Congress generated about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (better known to most of us as Obamacare)? Recall the responding noise from Democrats defending what likely was the Obama's administration's signature domestic legislation?

Whether you're for or against, Obamacare seemed almost certain to be a big part of the buildup to the 2020 election. And health care, almost by necessity including Obamacare, still may be part of the noise as election time draws closer.


But a once screaming hot issue that as far as we know hasn't been resolved has gone quiet. What's happened?

Certainly health care and its related insurance coverage remains an issue for many Americans, both workers and their employers. And the ACA remains a subject that still does pop up in conversations. The passion, however, seems to have disappeared.

Signed into law by then President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010, Obamacare is no longer a hot-button issue, at least today.

For one thing, Wessels Sherman attorney Peter E. Hansen said when we talked late last month, Republicans seem to have accepted that "Their constituents don't want a big repeal" of the ACA. Why not? Part of the reason, Hansen continues, is that "There seems to be no reasonable replacement" for the current law.

That's one likely reason why employers and their employees apparently have accepted Obamacare as a health coverage option.

Hansen is an associate attorney in the Wessels Sherman St. Charles office; health care issues are a primary Hansen focus.

Wessels Sherman -- actually Wessels Sherman Joerg Liszka Laverty Seneczko PC -- is a management focused employment law firm with offices in Illinois (Chicago, in addition to St. Charles), Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

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There are other reasons Obamacare may have fallen out of our discussion priorities:

* The Mueller investigation into the President's alleged campaign dealings with the Russians is still grabbing headlines and popping up in talk show discussions.

* Another, perhaps more apt reason, may be in a Hansen-written client update noting that a Texas District Court declared in December that Obamacare was invalid. That opinion has been appealed but, at least early this month, no action appeared to have been taken on the appeal.

* Many employers and their employees apparently have decided Obamacare is easier to live with than they once thought.

* Perhaps President Donald Trump's promise that an ACA replacement would be a postelection happening in 2020 (based obviously on his assumption of a GOP victory at the polls) has effectively quieted the issue.

* Maybe the electorate is saying it's time to talk about something else.

The issue still exists, which means now may be a good time for business owners to brush up on the details -- which, Hansen wrote in his bulletin, include federally mandated penalties on employers who fail to offer affordable coverage

You may want to review benefit issues again with your insurance agent-benefit advisor-employment law attorney.

© 2019 Kendall Communications Inc. Follow Jim Kendall on LinkedIn and Twitter. Write him at Jim@kendallcom.com. Learn about Jim's skills at www.kendallcom.com.

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