On February 27, President Trump met with several major health insurance company executives to discuss the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The meeting included leaders from Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, UnitedHealth Group, Aetna, Anthem, Kaiser Permanente and a leading industry lobbying group, America’s Health Insurance Plans.
The meeting occurred shortly after the President spoke to governors attending a National Governors Association meeting. “We must work together to save Americans from Obamacare,” Trump said, later adding, “Nobody knew that healthcare could be so complicated.” Trump was critical of the minimum health coverage requirements created by the ACA, saying they unduly restrict the types of plans that insurers can sell. The President noted that around of third of counties in the U.S. only have one insurance company offering plans on the health insurance marketplaces, and more are threatening to pull out. Aetna CEO Mark Beronlini has said the marketplaces are in a “death spiral”.
Though the meeting was closed to the public, it has been reported that insurers emphasized the need to maintain market stability during the course of ACA repeal and replacement, including maintaining current enrollment levels. America’s Health Insurance Plans said of the meeting afterwards that it focused on both short-term stability as well as long-term improvement.