The impact of ObamaCare on doctors and patients, companies inside and outside the health sector, and American workers and taxpayers
Health care experts on both sides of the aisle projected the next Congress may tie reforms to Obamacare to other legislative efforts, speaking Tuesday at a National Coalition on Health Care forum. Conservatives on the panel suggested any negotiations would be tied to how willing both parties are to compromise. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, suggested GOP priorities such as tax reform or adjusting how the federal government addresses poverty could address health care in some way if the next administration and Senate are willing to acknowledge them and make trades. Joseph Antos, a health analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, agreed, saying adjustments would be possible based on how much the incoming administration is willing to negotiate with Congress.
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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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Doctor and hospital switching has become a recurring scramble as consumers on the individual market find it difficult or impossible to stay on their same plans amid rising premiums and a revolving door of carriers willing to sell policies. “In 2017, just because of all the carrier exits, there are going to be more people making involuntary changes,” said Katherine Hempstead, a senior adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a New Jersey philanthropy. “I would imagine all things being equal, more people are going to be disappointed this year versus last year.”
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Nearly 30 million American adults remain uninsured. Despite the Affordable Care Act’s vast—and growing—cost to taxpayers, it has failed to place the U.S. on the road to near-universal health insurance coverage. To deliver coverage that is more affordable and attractive to middle-class Americans, structural reforms to the ACA are urgently needed. Until then, America’s middle class will suffer the ACA’s high costs without enjoying its benefits.
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With so many insurers pulling out of ObamaCare’s health insurance Exchanges–”the craziest thing in the world,” according to Bill Clinton–hundreds of thousands or millions of enrollees will see their plans disappear. The federal government will send up to 20 notices to ObamaCare enrollees whose plans disappear—and will choose replacement plans if they don’t choose one themselves.
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The consensus is the ACA failed to reduce healthcare costs.
If we are to make healthcare affordable for everyone, the answer is not going to come from a President Hillary Clinton or a President Donald Trump. Instead, the solution can be found if we send healthcare back to the states where experimentation and innovative public policies can take place focusing on utilization and waste in healthcare.
It is there that we can look to states already on the move. Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama are considering a bold concept to reduce waste by reducing the need to practice of wasteful, defensive medicine.
Defensive medicine is any type of medical practice to avoid litigation such as tests, scans, medications and procedures.
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Minnesota’s Democratic governor said Wednesday that the Affordable Care Act is “no longer affordable” for many, a stinging critique from a state leader who strongly embraced the law and proudly proclaimed health reform was working in Minnesota just a few years ago.
Gov. Mark Dayton made the comments while addressing questions about Minnesota’s fragile health insurance market, where individual plans are facing double-digit increases after all insurers threatened to exit the market entirely in 2017. He’s the only Democratic governor to publicly suggest the law isn’t working as intended.
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Minnesota’s Democratic governor said Wednesday that ObamaCare “is no longer affordable” for many people.
“Ultimately … the reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable to increasing numbers of people,” Gov. Mark Dayton said, according to a transcript provided by his office.
Democrats have long acknowledged that improvements need to be made to the health law, but Dayton’s remarks go farther and are more negative than usual from members of his party.
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Ever since the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplaces opened for business in 2014, the Obama administration has worked hard to get Americans to sign up. Yet officials now are telling some older people that they might have too much insurance and should cancel their marketplace policies.
Each month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is sending emails to about 15,000 people with subsidized marketplace coverage. The message arrives a few weeks before their 65th birthday, which is when most become eligible for Medicare.
President Obama admitted in a far-ranging interview about his presidency that his signature health law has “got real problems.” He said he encouraged Democrats to “walk the plank to get the Affordable Care Act done,” despite their (well-founded) fears they could lose their seats over their votes. “Now, part of my argument to them was, you’ve already paid the price politically, it’s not as if a failed health-care effort would be helpful in midterm elections, it’s better to go ahead and push through and then show that we had gotten something done that was really important to the American people.” (He admits that the party was absolutely ready to take massive casualties to get the last leg of its political agenda passed.)
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