A prominent and unlikely group of liberal and conservative health experts have authored an ambitious plan to fix the Affordable Care Act — and they plan to make a hard push for their ideas on Capitol Hill. The plan is notable because it has the support of especially well-connected health advisers on both sides of the aisle.
This new plan would aim to bring more stability to the Obamacare marketplaces by securing funding for key health law subsidies and ensuring strong enforcement of the individual mandate. In a nod to conservative priorities, it would also allow states more flexibility to pursue experimental waivers and higher contributions to tax-advantaged health savings accounts.
Signatories include: Joseph Antos, Stuart Butler, Lanhee Chen, John McDonough, Ron Pollack, Sara Rosenbaum, Grace-Marie Turner, Vikki Wachino, Gail Wilensky
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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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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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A coalition of roughly 40 House Republicans and Democrats plan to unveil a slate of Obamacare fixes Monday they hope will gain traction after the Senate’s effort to repeal the law imploded.
The Problem Solvers caucus, led by Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), is fronting the effort to stabilize the ACA markets, according to multiple sources. But other centrist members, including Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), and several other lawmakers from the New Democrat Coalition and the GOP’s moderate Tuesday Group are also involved.
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