Given the damage wrought by Obamacare, it’s understandable that so many Americans want a comprehensive overhaul of our health sector. But single-payer is one of the few approaches to health policy with a worse track record than Obamacare. What proponents of government-run medicine ignore is that the policy has been an utter disaster everywhere it’s been tried—from Canada, to the UK, to America’s own experiment in single-payer care, the Veterans Health Administration. The only way to ensure that Americans have access to timely, affordable, high-quality care is by creating a competitive healthcare market—not a government healthcare monopoly.
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As congressional Republicans’ efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act remain in limbo, the Trump administration and some states are taking steps to help insurers cover the cost of their sickest patients, a move that industry analysts say is critical to keeping premiums affordable for plans sold on the law’s online marketplaces in 2018.
This fix is a well-known insurance industry practice called reinsurance. Claims above a certain amount would be paid by the government, reducing insurers’ financial exposure and allowing them to set lower premiums.
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House GOP leaders during a members-only conference call Saturday vowed to avoid a government shutdown and said they’re closer to a deal to repeal and replace Obamacare, according to members who participated on the call.
But Speaker Paul Ryan also downplayed the possibility of a vote next week, the same sources said. The Wisconsin Republican said the chamber will vote on a conference-wide deal when GOP whips are confident they have the votes for passage — but not until then.
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Although insurers have generally remained profitable overall since implementation of the Affordable Care Act, many companies participating in the individual market – where most of the major market reforms took place in 2014 – experienced substantial losses in this market in the early years of reform. The individual market is where just 7% of the U.S. population gets their insurance (and thus also represents a small share of most health insurers’ business), but the stability of the market and willingness of insurers to continue to participate is essential to the ACA’s success. Going into 2017, there were a number of high-profile exits and premium increases, raising concerns over the stability of the individual market. Although some local markets are likely fragile, the Congressional Budget Office expects the ACA individual market to remain stable across most part of the country.
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