Policymakers should provide consumers more freedom to choose the insurance coverage that is best for their families. A useful first step: rescinding an Obama Administration–imposed federal rule that improperly limits the sale and renewal of short-term limited-duration (STLD) health insurance policies. While this will afford consumers some relief, Congress should go further by supporting Trump Administration efforts to provide access to more affordable insurance by replacing Obamacare with a solution that returns resources and flexibility to the states. Taken together, these steps provide policymakers concrete options that would do much to help consumers find affordable alternatives to Obamacare policies.
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What the British government is doing to a baby and his family is almost unbelievable. The government has determined that Alfie Evans, afflicted as he is by a rare neurodegenerative disorder, has so poor a quality of life that no efforts should be made to keep him alive.

He was taken off ventilation, but continued, surprising the doctors, to breathe. He has also been deprived of water and food. His parents want to take him to Italy, where a hospital is willing to treat him. The British government says no, and has police stationed to keep the boy from being rescued.

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Connecticut lawmakers are considering two bills that would impose fines on people for choosing not to buy health insurance.

The Connecticut state House Insurance and Real Estate Committee sponsored House Bill 5379 (H.B. 5379), which would require residents who do not purchase health insurance to pay a fine of $10,000 or 9.66 percent of their annual income, whichever is higher.

Connecticut state Rep. Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin) sponsored House Bill 5039 (H.B. 5039), which would levy a fine of $500 or 2 percent of annual income on individuals who decide not to buy health insurance.

H.B. 5039 was approved by the Connecticut General Assembly’s Joint Insurance and Real Estate Committee in March and made available for consideration in the full House of Representatives on April 9. The committee also held a March 2 public hearing on H.B. 5379 but did not vote on the bill.

The Connecticut House has not yet scheduled a vote on either bill.

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Some in Washington would have us believe there is only one way to provide relief to the millions of Americans trapped between paying the high cost of Obamacare or dropping coverage altogether: Send billions of taxpayer dollars to health insurance companies.

They’re wrong. There is a better way.

Short-term plans are just what the name implies – coverage for three to 12 months, but in most cases at a much lower cost to consumers because they are only paying for services they need and no longer paying for care they don’t need. For example, that could mean men no longer paying for maternity care. As a result of this increased customization, sky-high deductibles may finally start coming down for some Americans.

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Thirty-nine health policy experts and representatives of a broad cross-section of organizations joined in signing a comment letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding its proposed rule on Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance.

They argue that the Obama administration exerted “regulatory overreach” in limiting the sale of short-term policies to 90 days and prohibiting their renewal “in an effort to limit the sale of these policies, constrain consumer choice, and impose federal regulations on a product whose regulation the statute reserves to the states.”

“We hope this will convince CMS to amend its proposed rule to allow, among other things, renewability of short-term policies,” said Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, who helped organize the letter.

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Short-term, limited duration (STLD) health insurance has long been offered to individuals through the non-group market and through associations.  The product was designed for people who experience a temporary gap in health coverage.1  Unlike other products that are considered “limited benefit” or “excepted benefit” policies – such as cancer-only policies or hospital indemnity policies that pay a fixed dollar benefit per inpatient stay – short-term policies are generally considered to be “major medical” coverage; however, short-term policies are distinguished from other comprehensive major medical policies because they only provide coverage for a limited term, typically less than 365 days.  Short-term policies are also characterized by other significant limitations, including the types of services covered, often with a dollar maximum.

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The federal contractor that operates ObamaCare call centers was accused of wage theft totaling more than $100 million over five years in complaints filed Monday.

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) brought the complaints with the Department of Labor, alleging that the contractor, General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), has been underpaying its workers.

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The U.S. spends about 18% of its gross domestic product on health care, far more than most countries. One contributing factor that often goes overlooked: the high cost, in time and money, of becoming a physician. In a recent paper for the Mercatus Center, Jeffrey Flier and Jared Rhoads argue that the amount of time it takes to become a doctor—almost always at least a decade—constrains the supply, driving up prices. Physician incomes in the U.S. well exceed those in Europe; American generalists earn twice as much as Dutch ones.

Much of this education, especially courses required for a bachelor’s degree, has little to do with medicine.

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Louisiana’s health insurance market for individuals has been plagued in recent years by insurers fleeing the market and double-digit rate increases — prompting a proposed fix that would tack a fee on policies across the state to create a safety net against insurers’ losses and hold the line on runaway premiums.

The state Department of Insurance is pushing a bill through the Legislature that it says would lower premiums in the individual market by an average of 15 percent next year. The bill would put a roughly $1.25-a-month fee on every health-insured life in the state. That money, which one critic labeled a tax on business disguised as a fee, would go into what is called a reinsurance pool designed to protect insurers against high-cost patients.

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The Trump Administration has been looking for lifeboats for Americans trapped in ObamaCare exchanges, and one project is to expand “association health plans,” or AHPs, that let employers team up to offer coverage. But the fine print in the proposed Labor Department rule is causing concern and needs to be cleaned up.

The issue is whether the Trump rule will let association health plans set prices based on risk, which is how insurance is supposed to work. The point of the rule is to let businesses enjoy the flexibility that large employers have under a law known as Erisa. Under the Affordable Care Act bigger businesses have fared much better than those stuck in the small group market, which is heavily regulated.

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