The 40% “Cadillac” Tax on expensive employer-sponsored health insurance is on a deathwatch because both parties in Congress dislike it. It would be best if Congress were to replace the Cadillac Tax with a simple and clear limitation on the tax preference for employer-paid premiums, as is called for the House GOP’s “Better Way” health plan. For decades, economists have complained that the open-ended tax break for employer-paid health insurance premiums is a major distortion in the marketplace. This approach is fair and promotes more transparency in the health care marketplace.
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Longtime ObamaCare lobbyists are soundly rejecting one of Hillary Clinton’s most prominent healthcare pitches: the public option.
Leaders of the nation’s largest hospital, pharmaceutical and insurer trade groups said on Tuesday they wouldn’t support a Clinton administration’s push for a public option without first ensuring the Obamacare marketplaces work.
“We think we need to make these [marketplaces] viable before we give any consideration of going to a public option,” Rick Pollack, president of the American Hospital Association, told a crowd at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
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Some health insurers say they’re paying too much to rival Blue Cross Blue Shield plans under a key pillar of the federal health law designed to compensate insurers that take on sicker and more expensive patients. The critics’ chief complaint is that the Affordable Care Act’s risk-adjustment program unfairly rewards health plans—including Blue Shield of California—that have excess administrative costs and higher premiums. That comes at the expense of more efficient, lower-priced plans in the individual market, they say.
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Obamacare is collapsing. Its utter failures become more obvious by the day. We all remember the promises of Obamacare, chief among them that the “Affordable Care Act” would lower health care costs. The opposite has occurred. Despite the offer of subsidies through the exchanges, enrollment in Obamacare has been dismal. Younger, healthier individuals have little interest in paying exorbitant premiums for insurance plans that come with $5,000 deductibles. The result has been an unbalanced insurance pool where insurers must charge ever-increasing premiums to continue offering coverage.
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More than 50 conservative groups are asking lawmakers to block payments to insurers under Obamacare they say would be a “bailout” of insurance companies.
The groups, which include Freedom Partners, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform and Heritage Action, are calling on Congress in a Wednesday letter to block payments using taxpayer money from going to insurers under two Affordable Care Act programs.
The groups want Congress to recoup $5 billion they say was illegally given to insurance companies experiences greater losses than expected under the law’s reinsurance program and are urging lawmakers to pass a measure blocking future payments from a “Judgement Fund” to settle insurer lawsuits under the law’s risk corridor program.
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More than 50 fiscally conservative groups are asking Congress to prevent the Obama administration from giving insurers “bailouts” for their Obamacare losses.
Congress should take two steps toward that end, according to a letter sent Wednesday by Freedom Partners and dozens of other groups.
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Last week, the comptroller general — the government’s chief accountability officer — issued an official statement that the administration has been sending unlawful payments to insurance companies through the ACA’s reinsurance program. These payments have totaled $3 billion thus far and have forced taxpayers to finance a larger part of insurers’ most expensive enrollees’ claims.
The U.S. House of Representatives filed suit against the administration for unlawful payments through another ACA program. These payments are to insurers for them to make plans more attractive by reducing enrollees’ deductibles and cost-sharing amounts. Congress never appropriated funds, yet the administration has paid insurers at least $10 billion through this program thus far.
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While health plans struggle to make profits off individuals buying commercial coverage on public exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, the insurance industry still sees promise in the law’s Medicaid expansion.
Take Wellcare Health Plans’ announcement that it has signed a deal to buy the Arizona operations of Care1st Health for $157.5 million in a deal that will add 114,000 Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in the state’s largest market, Maricopa and Pima counties.
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Evergreen Health, Maryland’s version of the innovative nonprofit insurers created under the Affordable Care Act, decided Monday to become a for-profit company to avoid the possibility of a shutdown, according to its chief executive.
If the switch is approved as expected by federal and state officials, Evergreen’s unprecedented move will leave standing only five of the 23 co-ops, or Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, which started nearly three years ago.
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Many variables remain up in the air as we contemplate what Obamacare would look like without functioning exchanges, but the failure of the exchanges in some states might provide an opportunity to amend and improve upon the ACA, and move the American health care system towards a freer market system where individuals are free to enroll in any health insurance plan that is for sale, and where insurers have the freedom to sell the plans that are the most appealing to potential buyers. Treating markets where the ACA has failed as opportunities rather than crises might be the first step in achieving sustainable health care reform.