Despite bumps in the road, healthcare leaders say ACA isn't going anywhere

Though flawed, healthcare reform 'too entrenched to be removed'

The Affordable Care Act isn't going anywhere. At least that was the consensus from last week's annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference in San Francisco, reported Reuters. Healthcare executives in attendance agreed that, while the healthcare reform law has its qualms, the ACA, as Reuters said, is "too entrenched to be removed."

As of late, Republicans have been attacking the ACA with various lawsuits. But repealing the ACA "is not a possibility," George Scangos, chief executive officer at biotechnology company Biogen Idec Inc, told Reuters. "They would somehow have to explain to millions of people that they will lose health insurance."

That's the 6.4 million people who bought coverage during the second enrollment period, as of late December, as well as the 10 million people who obtained coverage under Medicaid expansion.

As enrollment continues to grow, insurers are increasing their expectations.

Anthem, for example, announced last week that it would make more money than previously anticipated, according to Forbes. The insurer predicted net income to range from $8.75 to $8.85 per share. Now, that forecast comes in right at $8.85. Additionally, Aetna announced last week that it expects its 2014 membership to be higher than expected, reported Zacks.

With insurers expected to release fourth quarter earnings later this week, there's one thing--or rather, one event--that could derail all hopeful forecasts for 2015: The Supreme Court's looming decision on King v. Burwell.

Even if the Supreme Court rules against subsidized coverage, "I don't see a veto-proof majority" in Congress to overturn the law, Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier told Reuters. "I would expect changes in the structure of the law, not a wholesale repeal."

For more:
- here's the Forbes article
- read the Reuters article
- check out the Zacks piece

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