It’s time for a new approach to fixing our broken health care system. A responsible Congress could consider this moment as a unique opportunity to address health care costs, take advantage of amazing new technologies and improve the overall health and wellness of Americans.
Here are ten proposals that Republicans and Democrats should consider and approach with bipartisanship, ensuring both government and Americans pay less and get better health care:
1. Cut drug costs.
2. Allow veterans to use convenient hospitals.
3. Trim Medicare costs by slowly raising the age and income eligibility.
4. Allow insurance to be purchased across state lines.
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A major problem with the Affordable Care Act is the way it was passed: on a party-line vote, without support from a single Republican. This made the law vulnerable and created uncertainty about its future among market participants. The unsuccessful GOP repeal-and-replace efforts have been just as divisive. For a policy change of this magnitude to be lasting and stable, it should have at least some bipartisan support.
Universal coverage should be pursued in a way that is affordable, both to households and to the government, and that helps lower the trajectory of health-care costs overall. It should lead to higher-quality medical care, to make being insured attractive to households, and should encourage innovation, productivity and technological progress in the health-care sector. It should encourage young and healthy people to be covered in order to balance the risk pool facing insurers, making it attractive for insurers to offer insurance. It should ensure that even the hard-to-cover are insured.
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U.S. health insurer Anthem Inc said on Monday it will no longer offer Obamacare plans in Nevada’s state exchange and will stop offering the plans in nearly half of Georgia’s counties next year.
The moves come after Republican senators last month failed to repeal and replace Obamacare, former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare reform law, creating uncertainty over how the program providing health benefits to 20 million Americans will be funded and managed in 2018.
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The GOP’s attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has generated intense opposition and run into repeated roadblocks on Capitol Hill, despite advancing many worthy reforms. The proposals are right to allow individuals without pre-existing conditions to obtain insurance from a freely-competitive market, right to shift able-bodied individuals from Medicaid to the exchanges, and right to restructure Medicaid so that the largest share of its funds is not captured by the wealthiest states that need it least.
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The federal government owes health insurer Molina $52 million for payments it was supposed to receive involving losses under Obamacare, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled Friday.
The payments, called “risk corridors,” were diminished as part of a spending bill advanced by Republicans, who referred to them as a “bailout” for the insurance industry. Withholding them contributed to losses for insurers and to the shutdown of nonprofit insurance co-ops created under the law.
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Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Ohio Governor John Kasich say the next step toward changing the Affordable Care Act – after lawmakers failed to follow through on health care reform – should now include a bipartisan effort. “Let’s get a bipartisan group of people together, and include some governors, who are the guys who have to- the people who have to implement these plans, and look at how do we stabilize private markets, how do we, you know, deal with these high-cost pools, and what’s the best way,” Democratic Gov. Hickenlooper said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
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Congressional Republicans plan to use the next four weeks away from Washington making a public case for a sweeping rewrite of the tax code, an ambitious legislative undertaking they hope will heal divisions that opened when the party’s signature health-care bill collapsed. But at home in their districts, they face pressures that could make it hard to focus on taxes.
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With the failure of Republicans’ health care effort, some Senate moderates are looking to prop Obamacare up with additional taxpayer funds. There’s a case to be made for a short-term bailout of Obamacare—but only if it’s accompanied by serious reforms that liberate consumers from the law’s rising health insurance premiums.
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Our American Experiment — After a speech to state legislative leaders in Austin, TX, on August 1, chairman David Avella and Grace-Marie Turner, President of the Galen Institute, talked about the important role for the states in health reform going forward. You’ll enjoy the eight-minute podcast, that concludes with a little-known story about Turner’s early years as a journalist.
Managed Care magazine writes that, “Whether an ACA fix or GOP plans—or neither—prevail, these players are poised to determine what comes next.” Those listed include ObamaCareWatch guest contributors Tom Miller of the American Enterprise Institute, HHS assistant-secretary designate Steve Parente, and Grace-Marie Turner of Galen as well as Andrew Bremberg, White House Domestic Policy Council chief.
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