The White House is pushing for several conservative policies to be included in a bill aimed at stabilizing ObamaCare, according to an administration memo obtained by The Hill.
The document gives support to funding controversial ObamaCare payments known as cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), which President Trump canceled in October. But it also lays out conservative policies that the administration wants included as well.
. . .
Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch called Obamacare “the stupidest, dumbass bill” he’s ever seen at a recent American Enterprise Institute forum. “Some of you may have loved it,” he said. “And if you do, you are one of the stupidest, dumbass people I’ve ever met.”
Hatch ended up apologizing for his comment, but the question remains: If the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee considers Obamacare the “stupidest, dumbass” law on earth, then why on earth are his fellow Republicans so desperate to bail it out?
. . .
Short-term health insurance is sometimes scoffed at as “sham insurance.” But to those who turn to it in need, this kind of insurance offers vital protection from unexpected medical costs. The Trump administration’s plan to extend how long it lasts makes sense.
Short-term plans offer temporary coverage for many of the same things standard health plans do. They don’t, however, cover things like preventive care, maternity care, or pre-existing medical conditions. Short-term plans do not meet the coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but they have long offered a meaningful measure of protection to people who need to fill a gap in health insurance coverage.
. . .
Proposed changes to Arkansas’ Medicaid expansion program would reduce its cost by more than $356 million in the fiscal year that starts July 1, according to state Department of Human Services estimates.
The estimates include $307 million in federal and state funds saved by restricting eligibility to people with incomes of up to the poverty level, instead of 138 percent of the poverty level.
Imposing a work requirement on many of those remaining on the program would save an additional $49.4 million, the department calculated.
. . .
Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan have announced a nonprofit initiative to address excessive spending on health care, starting with their own million or so employees. They can expect many suggestions. Here’s one: The three CEOs— Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon, whom I’ll call “BB&D”—could do a huge service by describing the depth and nature of the cost problem, something politicians have long failed to do.
After spending most of 2017 defending the Affordable Care Act from GOP attacks, a growing number of Democrats believe the law’s reliance on private insurance markets won’t be enough and the party should focus instead on expanding popular government programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
The emerging strategy — which is gaining traction among liberal policy experts, activists and Democratic politicians — is less sweeping than the “single-payer” government-run system that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) made a cornerstone of his 2016 presidential campaign.
These Democrats see the expansion of existing public programs as a more pragmatic and politically viable way to help Americans struggling with rising costs and correct the shortcomings of the 2010 law, often called Obamacare.
. . .
Having failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, congressional Republicans now want to create a new corporate welfare program to save it. Here’s a better idea: Congress and the administration should give states more latitude to clean up the mess—at no additional cost to the federal government. That is a central recommendation of a new study co-authored by Doug Badger, Senior Fellow at the Galen Institute, and Rea Hederman, Vice President of Policy at The Buckeye Institute. The study examines congressional and federal proposals that surfaced throughout last year in the broader context of the “repeal and replace” debate. The most promising ideas to repair broken insurance markets emanated not from Washington, but from the states. Read the full Mercatus Center study here.
. . .
Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.), a Republican who has been one of ObamaCare’s most vocal opponents, signed a bill Tuesday that would shore up the law’s insurance markets.
The bill would authorize the state to apply for a federal waiver to offer a reinsurance program covering 80 percent of medical claims costing between $50,000 and $250,000.
The program would cost $200 million, with the federal government paying 75 percent of the costs, and is meant to lower premiums for everyone else by paying for claims filed by the sickest, most expensive patients.
. . .
Sen. Bernie Sanders isn’t alone in his adoration for universal healthcare. According to one recent survey, 56 percent of U.S. doctors are at least somewhat supportive of government-run healthcare.
Their support is somewhat understandable. Every insurer has different administrative requirements, covers different therapies at different levels, and reimburses on a different timeline. Medicare and Medicaid complicate matters further. Dealing with only one insurer — the government — may sound appealing.
. . .