The big news of the week was the release of the Senate health care bill – the “Better Care Reconciliation Act” – on Thursday.
The NYTimes reports:
“The bill, drafted in secret, is likely to come to the Senate floor next week, and could come to a vote after 20 hours of debate…The premise of the bill, repeated almost daily in some form by its chief author, Mr. McConnell, is that ‘Obamacare is collapsing around us, and the American people are desperately searching for relief.'”
Sarah Kliff at Vox.com runs through the contents in a condensed explainer.
“In aggregate, these changes could be advantageous to younger and healthier enrollees who want skimpier (and cheaper) benefit packages. But they could be costly for older and sicker Obamacare enrollees who rely on the law’s current requirements, and would be asked to pay more for less generous coverage.”
Dylan Matthews summarized all of the (many) groups of people who will be worse off if this act becomes law:
“We don’t know for sure how many people will lose health coverage, but there are a number of reasons to think the number will be bigger than the 23 million the Congressional Budget Office estimated would lose insurance under the bill that passed the House in May. The Senate bill cuts Medicaid more slowly but more deeply, and unlike that bill, it lacks any incentive for individuals to stay insured. It repeals the individual mandate and replaces it with nothing.”
Continue reading Health Policy Updates: June 25 2017
In an interview with CBS, Donald Trump was noted to tell several blatant lies about the contents of the current version of the AHCA:
- Pre-existing conditions will continue to be required to be accepted for insurance.
- Premiums will be lowered by the law.
- That the bill includes the popular conservative idea to allow interstate insurance markets.
This article, with excerpts from interview the interview, is quite revealing. It’s almost as if the president doesn’t know anything about health care, or is very comfortable lying about it. Or, both.
“This part of the interview is a bit bizarre…Now Trump appears to be saying that he’s ready to reverse course, that this part of the Republican bill is currently “changing.” So either Trump is announcing a big policy shift that would likely lead to Freedom Caucus opposing the bill — or he’s misunderstanding what is actually in the bill. From the interview, its hard to know.”
Continue reading Health Policy Updates: May 6 2017
Like a phoenix rising from its own ashes, Republican health care reform is alive again. Vox.com’s Sarah Kliff runs through some of the features of the new version of their bill:
“What we do know is that this latest proposal doesn’t do much at all to assuage concerns about the older proposals. While it meets many of the demands of the party’s far-right wing — namely, the deregulation of the individual insurance market — it does nothing to address concerns about massive coverage loss. Instead, it likely makes those problems worse…
…This GOP amendment to let states waive community rating would once again allow insurers to charge people based on their expected health care costs. Insurers would not be able to deny coverage to people with preexisting conditions, but they would have free rein to charge them especially high premiums.”
President Trump demonstrated his expertise in the complex details of health policy, with his analysis of the changes to this new version of the health care reform bill:
“‘The plan gets better and better and better, and it’s gotten really, really good, and a lot of people are liking it a lot,’ Mr. Trump said.”
Continue reading Health Policy Updates: April 22 2017
Donald Trump garnered some eye-rolls from health policy experts when he stated last week that “nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated,” in relation to why repealing and replacing Obamacare has been taking longer than he initially estimated.
Because, of course, everyone who takes healthcare seriously already knew that.
More from the NYTimes:
“And no governor was ready to say publicly that he or she could accept a replacement health law covering fewer people than the Affordable Care Act, which has extended coverage to 20 million Americans. A bill drafted by House Republicans could cover fewer people. It would roll back the heath law’s expansion of Medicaid…”
Continue reading Health Policy Updates: March 4 2017
The big news of the week was some apparent waffling on the part of Congressional Republicans on the Obamacare repeal plan. What had once seemed like a sure thing has run into some road bumps as members consider the difficulty in coming up with a viable replacement.
Sarah Kliff reports here.
“The Republican Party is fracturing around Obamacare in ways we haven’t seen before. This is happening for a simple reason: It’s really, really hard to end health insurance benefits for 20 million Americans, especially when you don’t have a plan for what comes next. I still think repeal is the most likely outcome of this debate — it just doesn’t seen nearly as certain possibility as it did a month ago.”
Continue reading Health Policy Updates: January 15 2017