Is there any doubt that every vote counts and every voice is heard? It’s 2017 and a new president was recently sworn in, along with a Republican-controlled House and Senate. No matter your political leanings in Washington, inaugurations are an exciting time (especially in a town that hasn’t won a sports title in almost 30 years, we just don’t get those kinds of parades).

We’ve all heard the campaign promises, that the Affordable Care Act will be repealed and replaced. But just as challenging as it was to craft the original law in 2009–2010, repealing and replacing it will be equally challenging and this is where the rubber meets the road. How challenging will it be? An apt comparison might be the long slog to build the Next Gen air traffic controlling system. One that needs to be built, tested and deployed while planes are flying. The fact is, NextGen’s slowly being inserted into our air travel system airport by airport, with the timeline being from 2012–2025 to get it fully stood up; oh and it must also integrate with foreign systems to accommodate overseas travel.

The belief back in 2009 was that Congress wouldn’t get it right and there are many, including members of ASA that believe that they did not. Based on the election results, it might appear that millions of voters believed that as well. But how do we know they’ll get it right this time around? From the meetings we’ve had in January, the sole focus has been on repeal, with a replacement to come later. A complete and total repeal could be as problematic as it is welcome. For example, much of the law is based around tax credits and subsidies. Do those get repealed before, during or after the policies within the law are repealed? We can assume that a transition period of several years will be a part of the repeal, meaning that although the law may be repealed, the actual date that it is no longer law of the land will be a few years later, allowing Congress time to come up with a sufficient repeal.

The next several months will be crucial for every stakeholder. What do you want kept in the law? What do you want scrapped? As we’ve said, we don’t think they got it right in the past, which was because they didn’t listen to the most important stakeholders, the employer community that bears the brunt of these costs. Now is the time to get involved, contribute to your industry’s political action committee and get your team engaged. ASA will enable you to use your voice and to make your opinion heard. Take advantage!