Just when you thought Obamacare repeal was over, it’s back – this time, as part of the GOP tax reform effort.
“The revised Senate tax bill will repeal the individual mandate, according to multiple reports. Repealing the mandate — which is the gear that makes the Affordable Care Act tick — would save more than $300 billion over 10 years, but only because millions fewer Americans would have health insurance, according to the Congressional Budget Office. It also means higher premiums, because the younger, healthier people who have an incentive to buy insurance rather than pay the mandate would be expected to exit the market while the sicker people stay in.”
Continue reading Health Policy Updates: November 19 2017
The federal government recently confirmed that health insurance premiums on the Obamacare exchanges will be, as previously warned, getting significantly more expensive next year. There is a lot of variation, with prices going up by a lot more in some states and actually declining in others, but the overall average increase is going to be about 22%.
Sarah Kliff at Vox.com explains what this means:
“In either case, these numbers are bad news for Obamacare — we just don’t know how bad, exactly, the news is at this point.”
The NYTimes offers a summary as well:
“Most people are unaffected by the rate increases because they get their insurance through an employer or are covered through government programs like Medicare, Medicaid or the Department of Veterans Affairs.”
Continue reading Health Policy Updates: October 29 2016
I’ve written before in this space about “advanced practice providers,” how they offer a opportunity to expand access to health care while holding down costs, and how physician groups have generally been opposed to allowing them to do so. This recent policy proposal by Politico outlines the issue and offers a few concrete changes to allow APPs to expand their scope of practice and better serve patients:
“CMS and where relevant private payers should authorize advanced practice registered nurses to perform admission assessments, as well as certification of patients for home health care services and for admission to hospice and skilled nursing facilities. PAs should also have a broader role in these areas, particularly home health. To encourage more primary care providers to take part in Medicaid, state Medicaid programs should raise reimbursement for NPs to match primary care physicians.” Continue reading Health Policy Updates: July 10 2016
A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine this week had some surprising findings relating to gifts to physicians from pharmaceutical companies. The authors asked whether physicians who received a free meal from a drug company were more likely to prescribe expensive, brand-name medications produced by that company. The answer – surprisingly or not – was “yes.” And, it remained “yes” even for single meals less that $20 in value (though the association tended to be higher for more and/or more expensive meals). This study has obvious implications regarding the ethics of physician-industry financial relationships.
“The differences persisted after controlling for prescribing volume and potential confounders such as physician specialty, practice setting, and demographic characteristics. Furthermore, the relationship was dose dependent, with additional meals and costlier meals associated with greater increases in prescribing of the promoted drug. Our findings were consistent across 4 brand-name drugs, including rosuvastatin…” Continue reading Health Policy Updates: June 25 2016