One way or the other, opinions on the merits of the Affordable Care Act run deep. But whatever your position is, if you think the question of whether the law should be preserved or cast aside is a matter of black and white, consider this:

Obamacare and magnifying glass

In a survey of 446 U.S. employers, published earlier this year by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, 61% of respondents said the ACA has had a negative effect on their business. However, asked whether they favored a repeal of the law, only 35% of the employers said yes, while 44% were opposed to a repeal.

What’s up with that gap?

The easiest explanation may be that a portion of the respondents felt it would be too much bother to again adjust their benefits plans and policies to whatever would replace the ACA. But if that’s the case, the “negative effect” of the law must not have been all that profound.

Other possible explanations, or partial ones, abound. Did some corporate officials have an expansive-enough worldview that they thought the ACA was a plus for society at large, despite their perception of its negative influence on company performance?

Did any of them think cherry-picking a few beloved ACA provisions to keep and dumping the rest of the law was tantamount to “revising” it, rather than “repealing” it?

Were some survey participants showing their political persuasion by not being able to bring themselves to side with Donald Trump on his stated intention to get rid of the ACA? Or were respondents simply confused, for some reason, by the wording of the questions or the answer options they were given?

Pinpointing the reasons for the survey results in question, however, is surely less complicated than assessing the true impact of the law on companies and society. Many experts on public policy, health care, and law have studied the issue at length, only to arrive at markedly divergent conclusions.

Here we’ve assembled four such experts to give their take on whether the ACA should be repealed. We hope they will provide you with some food for thought in 2017, as a Republican-controlled government’s presumed effort to undo much or all of the law unfolds.

Image: ThinkStock

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2 responses to “Square-Off: Should the Affordable Care Act Be Repealed?”

  1. It would be unfair to completely cancel the program for those who have enrolled due to past restrictions in getting adequate health care coverage.

  2. The ACA was forced on the public creating a massive change effort with the hope and expectation that no one would want to go through that again by repealing the plan. Even with the gross failure and cost of the program, people (and corporations) would rather live with the devil they know than go through the change to accept yet another new solution. The CBA is unknown.

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