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Despite failed attempts over the past year to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Trump Administration has moved ahead with administrative changes to dilute the law by allowing for short-term and association health plans that circumvent certain ACA protections starting in 2019. The end result will be higher premiums on the ACA exchanges plus the availability of more high-deductible and short-term insurance plans resulting in in-creased patient financial responsibility.

Look for these anticipated changes in the U.S. health insurance market to have some direct consequences for healthcare providers who will likely have to collect payment from a wider array of patients and potentially rack up even more bad debt in the year ahead. Ironically, animus over health insurance could well cause a backlash against Republicans inside Congress whose majority is on the line, particularly in the House of Representatives, in the U.S. midterm elections this November.