The individual mandate – viewed by many as an essential component of the ACA/Obamacare in order to maintain insurance market stability – was officially repealed this week with the passage of the GOP tax bill. Health Affairs has compiled a list of resources discussing the possible implications of mandate repeal.
According to health policy expert Timothy Jost:
“The CBO, in its most recent analysis of the individual mandate repeal proposal, projected that repeal would result in four million more uninsured by 2019, 13 million more by 2027. Repeal would increase premiums in the individual market by 10 percent or more in most years…But the repeal of the individual mandate penalty will not by any means bring an end to the ACA. The numbers who lose coverage will likely be much smaller than the CBO estimates.”
Continue reading Health Policy Updates: December 23 2017
This week, a bipartisan bill emerged to stabilize the ACA insurance market. It remains unclear whether this compromise proposal will enjoy enough support to pass.
“Alexander said the deal he struck with Murray would extend CSR payments for two years and provide states ‘meaningful flexibility’ under the ACA, allowing them to make changes to insurance offerings as long as the plans had ‘comparable affordability,’ which is a slightly looser definition than the existing one…The framework would also allow insurers to offer catastrophic insurance plans to consumers aged 30 and older on ACA exchanges, while maintaining a single risk pool…”
Sarah Kliff at Vox.com gave the shortest, quickest rundown of the different ACA insurance subsidies, and exactly how the recent Trump executive order would change things:
“The Trump administration is not ending insurance subsidies. Instead, they have created a policy where they spend more money to insure fewer people — something you probably won’t see on the president’s Twitter feed.”
Continue reading Health Policy Updates: October 22 2017
An analysis describing the developing Republican proposals for ACA/Obamacare replacement were leaked to the media last week. Vox.com’s Sarah Kliff describes the results that these plans would have if enacted.
“The analysis includes graphs on what the Republican plan to overhaul Obamacare’s tax credits, generally making them less generous, would do. They are based on the recent 19-page proposal that Republican leadership released about their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare…In the individual market, enrollment would fall 30 percent… “
Continue reading Health Policy Updates: February 25 2017
Health care journalist Sarah Kliff at Vox.com recently started a brand new (and yet to be named!) podcast. The first episode was out last week, and covers the politics of why the US has much high prescription drug costs than other wealthy countries. I can’t really add anything to her excellent coverage and explanation of the issue, and will just say that I HIGHLY recommend taking a listen. I am eagerly awaiting episode #2!
Continue reading Health Policy Updates: December 3 2016
The beginning of last week saw the second presidential debate, in which health care policy finally got some attention. I will include some discussion of the various points that the candidates raised below.
Kaiser Health News unpacks Donald Trump’s statements about increasing insurance prices under Obamacare:
“There are several reasons for the increases. One is that insurers charged premiums that were simply too low to begin with, and now they are catching up in order not to go broke. Another goes back to the CBO prediction above, about employers sending workers to the individual market to buy their own insurance.”
Sarah Kliff at Vox.com does her best simply to translate what the two candidates were proposing (or were trying to propose):
“…it is possible to decode what actually happened. Clinton defended the Affordable Care Act while offering a blunter critique of the law than the Obama administration typically does — while Trump mostly attacked Obamacare for its costs, while offering an Obamacare repeal proposal that would leave millions uninsured.”
Harold Pollack was not impressed by the ideas that were put forward:
“More than anything, ACA requires pragmatic, bipartisan problem-solving in an era of divided government and unprecedented polarization exemplified by Trump’s nomination itself. Our next president must find a way to work within that environment. I didn’t hear much tonight – or on any night – about how this might be done.”
Continue reading Health Policy Updates: October 16 2016