Repeal of health care act may come in stages

During the presidential campaign, Republican candidate Mitt Romney pledged to repeal Obamacare and replace it with common-sense reforms. While he lost the election, part of Romney’s platform appears to be taking hold.

President Barack Obama has signed a measure which repeals a part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The legislation averting the “fiscal cliff” included ending the long-term care insurance program known as the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act.

Like many programs originating in Congress, the CLASS Act sounded like a good thing to do: Create a long-term care insurance program for employees. And, as with most of those programs, it was poorly designed and likely to be expensive for taxpayers and not as beneficial to participants as options available via the free market.

What did the public expect from a plan that had to be passed in order to find out what’s in it – a well thought-out approach to health care reform?

The legislation that ended the CLASS program also called for a commission to develop a national plan for providing America’s graying population with long-term care. Given Washington’s record with such approaches, the study likely will result in a plan so comprehensive it will be ignored.

Next, look for an attempt by Congress to defer – if not eliminate – an excise tax on medical devices, one of five new taxes that begin this year as part of the Affordable Care Act.

It appears repeal and replacement of Obamacare could occur in a piecemeal fashion.