EANJ President Discusses Impact of Repeal and Replace on NJ

John Sarno, President, Employers Association of New Jersey explains what the future of the ACA is, and the impact a repeal and replace proposal would have on New Jersey.

5/13/17 #109






"John Sarno is President of the Employer's Association of New Jersey. Good to see you John. Good to see you Steve. You said to me, right before we got on the air, that we need to deal with the fact that we have a potential, looming healthcare crisis in the state of New Jersey. Please describe it. Well I think... Because that scared me! [laughter] I didn't mean to, but... That's important? I think it's more than potential. I think it's quite tangible. I think that we are seeing the, for better or for worse, the unraveling of the Affordable Care Act. I know that the first attempt was stalled, but there's more to come, and... Why do you say that? Well... Why do you say it's...? By the way, real quick, tell folks what the organization is, then I'll come right back to this. Well, EANJ has several thousand employer members. And we're dedicated to helping good employers be better. Okay. So someone might say, "Hey, wait a minute? Come on! The Trump Administration, together with House Speaker Paul Ryan, tried it, it didn't work. They're onto something else." You say? Well, we have the markets to think about. I mean, I think what we saw was essentially a... and this is not a pejorative, but it was... it was a major political event. It wasn't necessarily financial or economic. And we saw that play out. The real action in terms of delivery, service delivery, pricing, healthcare for the greatest number of people really is the market. And so that's all regulatory. And that is someth... You mean the exchange? Yeah. The exchange. We have... we have... The healthcare exchange? Explain to folks... explain to folks... And we've talked about it forever, you would think people would go, "Oh, I know what it is." Explain it. Well the healthcare exchange is basically a place where individuals, and employers too, but mostly individuals, buy their healthcare. Right. So we have a mandate. And what happens at the exchange though is a shifting of costs. So we have 300,000 individuals who buy their own healthcare on the exchange. Eight out of ten of them get help buying that care. That policy. 80 percent... What do you mean, get help? They get a tax break. A credit. By the government? Or a subsidy. From the government? Right. And then billions of dollars are shifted over to the carriers in the exchange that are selling the policies to be able to keep prices low. So there is... so what the ACA does for the market, aside from... The Affordable Care Act? Yeah. Aside from the politics, is it shifts, it gives the carriers, Blue Cross, or any other carrier, AmeriHealth, a huge financial incentive..."