This week, reports surfaced to confirm that the Trump administration is actively engaged in ACA sabotage. The strategy is to quite literally inflict financial harm on the American people, by way of increasing insurance premiums on the exchanges.
“For months, officials in Republican-controlled Iowa had sought federal permission to revitalize their ailing health-insurance marketplace. Then President Trump read about the request in a newspaper story and called the federal director weighing the application. “
“The new rules take effect immediately. And they allow large, publicly traded companies to seek an exemption from the birth control requirement if they have a religious or moral objection to providing such coverage. The Obama administration barred these large businesses from such exemptions.” Continue reading Health Policy Updates: October 8 2017→
The idea of “block granting” Medicaid has become increasingly popular in Republican circles, as a way to constrain cost growth in the program. Vox.com’s Sarah Kliff recently interviewed Phil Roe, a Republican Congressman who supports block granting, about the feasibility of this approach.
“Block grants usually mean something else: a massive cut to Medicaid spending that could throw tens of millions of people off the program. And the politics of that — just at the moment that Obamacare added millions of people to Medicaid — are, as Roe acknowledged, tricky.”
Health policy blogger and expert Aaron Carrol also gave an outline of how block granting works, and what the effects of Republicans’ current block granting proposals would be.
Health care cost growth is back on the rise, as reported in Health Affairs. During 2014 and now 2015, health care spending has increased at a rate faster that inflation, after having move in line with inflation for the first few years post-recession. That means health care is a growing share of the US GDP again.
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!