Health care is fast becoming an unsustainable expense for American families. This year the total cost of insurance for the typical family of four eclipsed $28,000, according to the Milliman Medical Index. Rising insurance premiums are also eroding worker compensation, as companies shift increased costs to employees.

Health care in the U.S. suffers symptoms of what Justice Louis Brandeis once termed the problem of “Other People’s Money.” Often a patient ordering and receiving medical care mistakenly believes he is not the one paying for it. This misconception is due in large part to the employer tax exemption for health insurance, which conceals the true cost of coverage from most workers.

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The Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce would like to get back into the health insurance business.

Such a move became more likely Tuesday when the Trump administration announced a rule that would let small businesses or associated groups band together to purchase what are known as association health plans. The U.S. Department of Labor said the move will enable groups that share a commonality — such as an industry or geographic location — to obtain more affordable coverage.

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The Affordable Care Act’s regime of regulations, penalties, mandates and subsidies has accomplished a remarkable feat: It has produced unaffordable insurance coverage that often doesn’t finance care for those who need it most.

The federal government should therefore give states flexibility to permit the sale of alternative policies.

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) on Friday signed a bill to impose controversial work requirements on Medicaid recipients.

If the plan is approved by the Trump administration, Michigan would become the fifth state to add work mandates to its program.

In January, Trump officials released their guidelines for work requirements on Medicaid, a move that has drawn a sharp outcry from Democrats, who say the change will lead to people losing health coverage.

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Congressional Republicans, who ran against Obamacare through four election cycles, have spent most of the past year running away from it. But they are finding the law hard to escape.

Democrats who once shied away from Obamacare now can’t stop talking about it. They are blaming Republicans for the next round of premium increases that will become finalized in the weeks leading up to the November elections.

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The Center for American Progress recently released a study criticizing a Health Policy Consensus Group proposal to reduce premiums and increase choices for the millions of families and small businesses who are forced to choose between remaining uninsured or buying expensive Obamacare policies.

The proposal, dubbed the Health Care Choices Proposal, would replace Obamacare individual entitlements with grants to states. States would be required to use their federal grants to establish programs that subsidize premiums for low-income residents and that reduce premiums by assuring that the sick receive the assistance they need without saddling the healthy with unaffordable premiums.

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A group of policy wonks has been working since last fall to develop the next generation of patient-centered health policy recommendations that they unveiled at a rollout event at the Hoover Institution in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

The plan, called the Health Care Choices Proposal, takes a federalist approach in moving power and control of the health sector away from Washington, through the states, and ultimately to consumers.

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The critical flaw in Graham-Cassidy is that it bore the potential to make health insurance markets worse, not better, because due to design flaws in the bill, most states would have been strongly incentivized to eliminate their private individual insurance markets and replace them with an enlarged expansion of Medicaid, a program whose enrollees have health outcomes no better than those who are uninsured.

The Consensus Group proposal improves upon Graham-Cassidy by requiring that “at least 50% of the block grant goes toward supporting people’s purchase of private health coverage” in the individual insurance market. Under the new program, states would be required to offer Medicaid enrollees the opportunity to purchase “commercially available coverage” with their Medicaid dollars, and plans sold under the block grants would be exempted from costly Obamacare rules, like 3:1 age bands that double or triple the cost of insurance for young people.

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Health care remains a top priority for voters in the upcoming elections as Americans face ever-rising premiums, higher deductibles, and fewer health plan choices. Obamacare proves that the federal government is inept in managing something as complex as local health insurance markets.

America needs a federalist approach to health reform that returns resources and power to states so they can revitalize their broken health insurance markets while protecting vulnerable patients with pre-existing conditions.

The Health Policy Consensus Group—a coalition of state policy experts, national think tanks and grassroots organizations across the country—offers solutions in a bold plan called the Health Care Choices Proposal.  This is a fresh approach to health reform that is gaining attention on Capitol Hill, in the White House, and in the states.

Please join us as governors, state officials, and members of the Consensus Group discuss this proposal and detail how it would lower costs and increase choices for consumers.

Gov. Matt Bevin, Kentucky

Gov. Phil Bryant, Mississippi

Other State Officials TBA

Former Sen. Rick Santorum

Participants in the Health Policy Consensus Group

Watch Here:

A coalition of conservative groups on Tuesday released the outlines of a new plan for repealing and replacing ObamaCare, indicating that at least some corners of the Republican Party are still pushing for repeal.

The plan was drafted by groups led by the Heritage Foundation, the Galen Institute and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who have been leading meetings for months.

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