The Center for American Progress recently released a study criticizing a Health Policy Consensus Group proposal to reduce premiums and increase choices for the millions of families and small businesses who are forced to choose between remaining uninsured or buying expensive Obamacare policies.

The proposal, dubbed the Health Care Choices Proposal, would replace Obamacare individual entitlements with grants to states. States would be required to use their federal grants to establish programs that subsidize premiums for low-income residents and that reduce premiums by assuring that the sick receive the assistance they need without saddling the healthy with unaffordable premiums.

. . .

A group of policy wonks has been working since last fall to develop the next generation of patient-centered health policy recommendations that they unveiled at a rollout event at the Hoover Institution in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

The plan, called the Health Care Choices Proposal, takes a federalist approach in moving power and control of the health sector away from Washington, through the states, and ultimately to consumers.

. . .

The critical flaw in Graham-Cassidy is that it bore the potential to make health insurance markets worse, not better, because due to design flaws in the bill, most states would have been strongly incentivized to eliminate their private individual insurance markets and replace them with an enlarged expansion of Medicaid, a program whose enrollees have health outcomes no better than those who are uninsured.

The Consensus Group proposal improves upon Graham-Cassidy by requiring that “at least 50% of the block grant goes toward supporting people’s purchase of private health coverage” in the individual insurance market. Under the new program, states would be required to offer Medicaid enrollees the opportunity to purchase “commercially available coverage” with their Medicaid dollars, and plans sold under the block grants would be exempted from costly Obamacare rules, like 3:1 age bands that double or triple the cost of insurance for young people.

. . .

Health care remains a top priority for voters in the upcoming elections as Americans face ever-rising premiums, higher deductibles, and fewer health plan choices. Obamacare proves that the federal government is inept in managing something as complex as local health insurance markets.

America needs a federalist approach to health reform that returns resources and power to states so they can revitalize their broken health insurance markets while protecting vulnerable patients with pre-existing conditions.

The Health Policy Consensus Group—a coalition of state policy experts, national think tanks and grassroots organizations across the country—offers solutions in a bold plan called the Health Care Choices Proposal.  This is a fresh approach to health reform that is gaining attention on Capitol Hill, in the White House, and in the states.

Please join us as governors, state officials, and members of the Consensus Group discuss this proposal and detail how it would lower costs and increase choices for consumers.

Gov. Matt Bevin, Kentucky

Gov. Phil Bryant, Mississippi

Other State Officials TBA

Former Sen. Rick Santorum

Participants in the Health Policy Consensus Group

Watch Here: https://www.hoover.org/events/health-care-choices

A coalition of conservative groups on Tuesday released the outlines of a new plan for repealing and replacing ObamaCare, indicating that at least some corners of the Republican Party are still pushing for repeal.

The plan was drafted by groups led by the Heritage Foundation, the Galen Institute and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who have been leading meetings for months.

. . .

One perverse effect of the Affordable Care Act is that corporate America escaped some of the onerous mandates that hurt small enterprises. The Trump Administration is now trying to mitigate that inequity with a rule on association health plans, or AHPs, and perhaps the result will be a durable and popular alternative to ObamaCare coverage.

On Tuesday the Labor Department rolled out a final rule on AHPs. The point is to allow more small businesses to join forces to offer health insurance, using economies of scale to reduce costs and diversify risk. This is how corporations and unions manage health insurance in the large group market, either by paying an outside issuer or self-insuring.

. . .

Forget the Affordable Care Act: The future of our health care system will be shaped by a much bigger and broader fight — one that will likely culminate with a 2020 choice between private markets and an authentic government-run program in the form of a Bernie Sanders-style Medicare for All.

The bottom line: The cost of health care — both for individuals seeking coverage and the government seeking sustainability — promises to return as the biggest domestic issue once the Trump obsession burns off.

. . .

Insurers on the District of Columbia’s Obamacare insurance exchange want to raise rates by nearly 15 percent in 2019, while Minnesota’s insurers propose to reduce rates by up to about 12 percent.

Insurers in Minnesota can take advantage of a reinsurance program in which the state helps subsidize the biggest insurance claims on Obamacare’s insurance exchanges. Efforts to create a federal reinsurance program ran aground in the Senate because of disagreements over abortion funding.

In Minnesota, all of the state’s five Obamacare insurers are asking for proposed rate reductions of 3 to 12 percent for certain plans. That is a major difference from the final rates for the 2018 coverage year, which ranged from a 16 to 32 percent hike.

. . .

Canada’s single-payer healthcare system forced over 1 million patients to wait for necessary medical treatments last year. That’s an all-time record.

Those long wait times were more than just a nuisance; they cost patients $1.9 billion in lost wages, according to a new report by the Fraser Institute, a Vancouver-based think-tank.

Lengthy treatment delays are the norm in Canada and other single-payer nations, which ration care to keep costs down. Yet more and more Democratic leaders are pushing for a single-payer system — and more and more voters are clamoring for one.

. . .

The Affordable Care Act should be repealed in August and replaced with a new system that lifts national consumer protections and gives control of health care to the states, according to a proposal by a conservative group set to be released Tuesday.

The proposal risks irking centrist Republicans who want to focus on other subjects. Republican leaders have said they have no appetite for another push to repeal the ACA before the November midterm elections unless such a bill clearly has the votes to pass.

Republicans faced a series of obstacles—including internal division and unified Democratic opposition—as their effort to repeal the ACA collapsed last year. There is little evidence those dynamics in Congress have changed.

. . .