Future of Affordable Care Act up in the air - WNEM TV 5

Future of Affordable Care Act up in the air

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Many questions loom about the future of the Affordable Care Act after President-Elect Donald Trump pledged to repeal the law.

Vice President-Elect Mike Pence said the law has failed and was rejected by the American people.

Jeff Reinerz is the director of communications and development for the Great Lakes Bay Health Center, an organization that has helped 18,000 Mid-Michigan residents sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. While no official changes to the law have been announced, the center is already receiving questions about what's to come.

"Well, it's all kind of happening real quick. So we're all very confused and questioning is it going to be a good thing? Is it going to be a bad thing? Is it going to be something in between," Reinerz said.

He said their office alone has signed up 7,000 Michigan patients for the ACA. Many of them are among the 20 million once un-insured Americans who have health coverage thanks to the health care law.

"The ones that got insurance, that received insurance and that maybe never had insurance before, were thrilled with their insurance. So the possibility of losing that is scary. It really is scary," Reinerz said.

Until the Trump administration and republicans in Congress layout any type of road map to the future of health care, the only thing patients can do is hope they don't lose out on what they have.

"To see people that were un-insured now insured is a good thing. So whatever the federal government decides, just hopefully there is access to quality health care for everyone. That's really what the goal is," Reinerz said.

Jan Shaffer, licensed agent at Future Insurance, said the ACA needs some work.

"There's definitely good parts to the system with covering pre-existing issues for people. And definitely making it affordable, obviously is going to be a key. But how they arrive at that, they may have to start figuring out a better way to do it," Shaffer said.

She hopes the incoming administration can improve health insurance for all Americans.

"When people go to the hospital, if they show up without insurance we all pay. So there needs to be something out there that people can do and can afford and be able to get coverage," Shaffer said.

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