Donald Trump’s pledge to “repeal and replace Obamacare” was one of his biggest crowd pleasers. Moving forward on his broad replacement themes—expanding health savings accounts (HSAs) and state flexibility—could lead to some surprising and intriguing reforms. During the campaign, Trump supported the familiar Republican themes of tax-free HSAs and allowing families to deduct health insurance…

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“As Republicans try to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they should be reminded every day that 36,000 people will die yearly as a result.” — Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), in a tweet, Jan. 12, 2017 Sanders has tweeted as a definite fact an estimate that a) assumes Republicans will gut Obamacare without a replacement b)…

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This morning, the Congressional Budget Office released a report arguing that the partial repeal of Obamacare being contemplated by Republicans would wildly increase the number of people without health insurance, in ways that are difficult to understand. Here are four problems with the CBO’s analysis. 1. The CBO’s estimates assume no Obamacare replacement 2. The CBO massively…

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A spokesman for Donald Trump sought Monday to elaborate on the president-elect’s plans to replace the Affordable Care Act, vowing that the new administration would lower health-care costs by infusing more competition into the marketplace, including by allowing insurers to sell health plans across state lines. Trump’s goal is “to get insurance for everybody through marketplace…

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“What about the 20 million people who got coverage?” Republicans are naturally concerned. Liberals have weaponized this number to stop repeal of the ACA. But should 20 million people keep a bad law on the books? To answer this question, Congress must ask two different questions. First, is the number real? In March 2016, the…

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Lawmakers will soon grapple with the fact that sick people are expensive to cover, and someone has to pay. However, we must understand that there is no certain cost to health insurance. What the general discussion about how to cover people in the future is missing is that Obamacare is so flawed that by itself it is…

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Practically since Obamacare became law, Republicans in Congress have been promising to repeal it. The law has been consistently unpopular during that time as well. The January edition of the Kaiser Health Tracking Poll shows that those who want to repeal Obamacare outnumber those opposed 48 percent to 47 percent. This is higher than in…

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It’s clear that whatever replaces Obamacare must focus on quality and incremental local solutions, not one-size-fits-all government mandates. In this respect, the federal government’s biggest task for replacing Obamacare is to get out of the way and let state policymakers and health care providers innovate. First off, let’s get clear what Americans want: They’d like…

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Late last year, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) told a group of senior GOP lawmakers that the person they needed to watch in the Senate in 2017 was Elizabeth. “Elizabeth Warren?” one lawmaker asked. “No,” Mr. Ryan replied, according to a lawmaker in the room, “Elizabeth, the Senate parliamentarian.” Elizabeth MacDonough, the sixth person…

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Health policy experts on both the left and the right need to take a deep breath and re-direct their collective energy to suggesting ways to improve the current regulatory environment.  No industry stakeholder can say with a straight-face that the individual health insurance markets are functional.  It is well-accepted that the markets are unbalanced.  And…

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