The head of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the national trade association representing health insurers, lists three key priorities for reform:
1. Commit to policies that support continuous coverage for everyone—those who utilize insurance to obtain quality care and those who are healthy but have insurance to protect them in case they get sick. Both types of consumers must be insured for coverage to remain affordable.
2. Commit to market stability in 2017 and 2019 by funding temporary, transitional funding programs at least through January 1, 2019.
3. Reduce health costs for millions of Americans by eliminating the health-insurance tax on insurers, which is passed along to employers and consumers in the form of higher premium costs.
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Supporters of the 2010 health care law will launch a political coalition Friday to block its repeal. They’re targeting Republican lawmakers whose constituents may now be at risk of losing health insurance.
The initial goal is to stop Congress from repealing the law without simultaneously passing a replacement for some 20 million people covered through subsidized private health insurance and expanded Medicaid.
Called “Protect Our Care,” the group brings together organizations that helped pass the Affordable Care Act.
On the list are the NAACP, liberal advocacy groups like Families USA and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Service Employees International Union, which represents many health care workers, and the Center for American Progress, a think tank closely aligned with the Obama White House.
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As Republicans prepare to undo the Affordable Care Act, defenders of the law warn that repeal will leave millions of seriously ill people unable to buy health insurance. President Obama claims repeal will mean going back to discriminating against Americans with pre-existing conditions.
In truth, ObamaCare discriminates against healthy people who have to buy their coverage in the individual market. ObamaCare forces them to pay the same price as the chronically ill, whose medical costs are ten times as high, on average.
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The incoming Senate Democratic leader says his party won’t help Republicans with a new health reform plan down the road if they repeal Obamacare without an immediate replacement.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, who will replace retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid in January, said Republicans will have to “own” the situation if they ditch the healthcare law but don’t immediately come up with a way to replace it.
“We’re not going to do a replacement,” Schumer said of his caucus. “If they repeal without a replacement, they will own it. Democrats will not then step up to the plate and come up with a half-baked solution that we will partially own. It’s all theirs.”
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President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to name Georgia Rep. Tom Price as the new secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services gives us a good idea of how Republicans will repeal Obamacare. Price, a doctor, understands both health care and policy. He introduced his own Obamacare replacement plan in 2013 and updated it in 2015.
Price’s plan, which seeks to create a consumer-driven health care model and is already in legislative language, is very similar to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s “A Better Way” health care reform outline released earlier this year. All of which means the Price plan will likely provide the framework for the Republican plan.
The three main components of the Price bill are: 1. Provide tax credits for those without employer coverage, 2. A solution for those with preexisting conditions, and 3. Expand Health Savings Accounts.
House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) on Thursday said they are still talking about how long a transition period will last after Congress repeals Obamacare early next year.
“That’s all a matter of discussion, it’s what we’re talking about right now,” Price told reporters Thursday, adding that he hasn’t seen draft language of a budget resolution yet. Price has been named as President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead Health and Human Services.
“It’s just premature to suggest that we know exactly how long this transition is,” Ryan said separately to reporters on Thursday.
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Heritage Action is pushing Republicans to repeal the entire Affordable Care Act and not stop at the reconciliation bill passed last year, which would have left some vital pieces of the law intact, such as the requirement that all people buy health insurance.
The conservative group, which is linked to the Heritage Foundation, released a memo Monday calling last year’s repeal effort “a floor, not a ceiling” for what a Republican Congress can do. The paper says it’s critical Republicans repeal all insurance mandates in the coming reconciliation package, including those that didn’t make it into the version that was ultimately vetoed by President Obama.
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- 27% of Americans name cost as top health problem; 20% name access
- Cost and access were tied as top health problem in 2014 and 2015
- College graduates most likely to cite cost as top health problem
The Urban Institute released a new analysis yesterday of the impact of a bill that Congress passed last year to repeal large parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Urban’s analysis is based on many uncertain assumptions, including the implausible one that the incoming Trump administration and Congress, despite numerous campaign promises, will not provide any flexibility for people to purchase non-ACA-compliant products after repeal. Urban’s projections should be treated with significant skepticism because of the large uncertainty about its assumptions as well as substantial mistakes Urban has made in the past about the impact of the ACA.
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Millions of emergency room patients could face financial ruin — even if they deliberately seek care at hospitals covered by their insurers.
That’s the disturbing finding of a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Conducted by two Yale professors, the study shows that 1 in 5 ER visits involve doctors who are not in the same insurance network as their hospitals. The patients treated by those out-of-network physicians are forced to pay for a portion of their care out-of-pocket. The average out-of-network ER charge is $600.
A bill that size spells disaster for many patients. About half of Americans wouldn’t be able to cover a surprise $400 bill without selling something or borrowing money.
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