The more serious Republicans get about repealing Obamacare, the more insurance companies feel at risk in continuing to offer exchange plans. And the more insurance companies pull out of the exchanges, the worse Obamacare looks and the clearer the rationale for repeal. Are we in a spiral is actually leading towards the ACA’s repeal?
“Meanwhile, across the nation, health insurance plans are beginning to flee the Obamacare marketplace. They’ve cited the uncertainty around the health care law’s future, sown by congressional Republicans and the Trump administration. The number of counties with zero health plans signed up to sell 2018 coverage keeps growing. The possibility that Republicans will repeal Obamacare or drive it into collapse is an increasingly real one. That’s a reality where millions fewer have health insurance and lower-income Americans struggle to afford coverage.”
Continue reading Health Policy Updates: June 18 2017
The ACA remains the “law of the land” (to use Speaker Ryan’s language) for now. But what happens next? There are still many things that the Republican-controlled Congress and Executive can do that might seriously impact the law’s outcomes.
“But Price could do two things now that would have huge effects on the marketplaces: He could drop a court case left over from the Obama administration, a move that would cut some subsidies to more than half of marketplace enrollees, and he could loosen the most hated part of the law, a mandate requiring most people to have coverage or pay a penalty at tax time.”
Continue reading Health Policy Updates: April 1 2017
The big news of the week was the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) appraisal of the Republican health care plan, the AHCA. There has been some controversy because the CBO’s predicted that 24 million Americans would lose health insurance, a number higher than even the bill’s vocal critics had been predicting. Many major news outlets, politicians, and pundits have weighed in.
The New York Times:
“The much-anticipated judgment by Capitol Hill’s official scorekeeper did not back up President Trump’s promise of providing health care for everyone and was likely to fuel the concerns of moderate Republicans. Next year, it said, the number of uninsured Americans would be 14 million higher than expected under current law.”
The Washington Post:
“The report predicted that premiums would be 15 percent to 20 percent higher in the first year compared with those under the Affordable Care Act but 10 percent lower on average after 2026. By and large, older Americans would pay “substantially” more and younger Americans less.”
One interesting reaction was that of House Speaker Paul Ryan, who tweeted out that the CBO report will “improve access to quality, affordable care.” This has led to criticism as well as incredulity, as a loss of insurance for 24 million Americans can hardly be interpreted as “improved access”.
Continue reading Health Policy Updates: March 18 2017
The big health policy news this week was the revelation of the new GOP “repeal and replace”/Trumpcare plan, which has been named the American Health Care Act or AHCA.
Vox.com’s Sarah Kliff explains how some of the biggest proposed changes would work:
“In 2020, enrollment in the Medicaid expansion will “freeze” and states with no longer be able to sign new enrollees up for the program. Legislators expect that enrollment would slowly decline, as enrollees’ incomes change and they shift off the program…
On the surface, the tax credits for the oldest Americans seem the most generous. People in their 60s, for example, get twice as much help as those in their 20s….But under the Republican plan, insurers would be allowed to charge the oldest Americans five times as much as the youngest Americans. Their financial help would not scale nearly as much as their premiums would.”
I liked this “high yield” layout from the NYTimes of what the GOP plan will keep, change, or get rid of from Obamacare.
Conservative health policy expert Avik Roy weighed in on the plan in Forbes:
“Leading House Republicans have included a number of transformative and consequential reforms in their American Health Care Act, the full text of which was published Monday evening. But those reforms are overshadowed by the bill’s stubborn desire to make health insurance unaffordable for millions of Americans, and trap millions more in poverty.”
Continue reading Health Policy Updates: March 11 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