Former HHS chief predicts series of 'disruptions' to health reform law

There's a good chance the most controversial elements of the new health reform law — including the individual mandate, Medicare cuts and a Medicaid expansion — will be "disrupted" if Republicans take control of the House next year, according to GOP policy analysts.

Analysts at Levitt Partners, a Utah-based policy group run by Mike Leavitt, who headed the Health and Human Services Department under President George W. Bush, have run the numbers to come up with a series of predictions about the fate of the law's most contentious provisions. 

The group says if Republicans win the House and the Democrats retain the Senate:

• There's a 73 percent chance the individual mandate will be tweaked or stalled. "Likely modifications include raising the income threshold of these exempt from the requirement, or denying funding to the IRS to hire new staff to enforce the provision. If repealed, one discussed substitute is an auto-enrollment process with an opt-out provision.
• There's a 63 percent chance the rules governing medical-loss ratios will be changed or delayed. "Possible modifications could include the granting of waivers to carriers, businesses, or states that show evidence of market destabilization."
• There's 68 percent chance the Medicare cuts will be altered or stalled — though the group doesn't offer examples of what modifications might be installed.
• There's a 38 percent chance the Medicaid expansion would be tweaked or delayed. "Possible modifications could include offering Medicaid eligible populations the option of receiving a voucher for use in purchasing insurance through state exchanges."  

There's no mention how the group expects these changes to win support in the White House. 


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