In this special episode of KHN’s “What the Health?” Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Alice Ollstein of Talking Points Memo take a deep dive into the state of the federal health law, what happened in 2017 and the Affordable Care Act’s viability going forward.

Julie Rovner

Kaiser Health News

@jrovner

Read Julie’s Stories

Joanne Kenen

Politico

@JoanneKenen

Read Joanne’s Stories

Alice Ollstein

Talking Points Memo

@AliceOllstein

Read Alice’s Stories

Margot Sanger-Katz

The New York Times

@sangerkatz

Read Margot’s Stories

A lot has happened to the federal Affordable Care Act in the past year and a half. In this special episode of KHN’s “What the Health?” the panelists dissect the changes made to the health law, how it has affected the politics and policy around health care, and what to watch for going forward.
This week’s panelists are:

Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News
Joanne Kenen of Politico
Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times
Alice Ollstein of Talking Points Memo

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

The Affordable Care Act may have taken some body blows since President Donald Trump was sworn in, but it has surprised many people by showing a good bit of resilience.
The congressional Republicans’ inability to agree on a path for partial repeal of the ACA showcased that the party — which had over seven years made the law a focus of their opposition — had no unified vision of what type of health policy it wanted.
Two key factors that worked against the Republicans’ efforts to repeal the ACA were the public’s desire to keep the law’s protections for people with preexisting conditions and to maintain the current Medicaid system, the state-federal health insurance program for low-income Americans.
Unable to upend the law through a partial repeal, the administration is seeking to make some changes to regulations about the law and may accomplish some Republican goals such as doing away with overregulation of the market and allowing people buying their own insurance to find cheaper and less involved plans. But, of course, they come with fewer protections, too.

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Here is Julie Rovner’s video about the budget reconciliation process.

Here is Julie Rovner’s timeline of ACA changes and major events, dating to President Trump’s election: Timeline: Despite GOP’s Failure To Repeal Obamacare, The ACA Has Changed
The panelists will be back with the latest news and “extra credit” stories next week.
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Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Alive And Limping: ACA In The Age Of Trump