A common argument from health care price control advocates is that there is a significant price differential for health care services between the U.S. and other developed countries, and that these differences drive higher per capita spending in the U.S. versus developed countries. While the simple answer may be “yes” to the question of whether health care services are higher in the U.S. than in other developed countries, there are other factors that need to be considered in order to fully understand why these differences exist.Several factors can influence how much a nation spends on health care, including overall utilization of services and technology, types of professionals used to deliver care, the use of biopharmaceuticals to offset more expensive health care services, and the underlying health status of the population. These and other influencers can have a direct impact on a country’s health care spending patterns.
. . .
Some in Washington would have us believe there is only one way to provide relief to the millions of Americans trapped between paying the high cost of Obamacare or dropping coverage altogether: Send billions of taxpayer dollars to health insurance companies.
They’re wrong. There is a better way.
Short-term plans are just what the name implies – coverage for three to 12 months, but in most cases at a much lower cost to consumers because they are only paying for services they need and no longer paying for care they don’t need. For example, that could mean men no longer paying for maternity care. As a result of this increased customization, sky-high deductibles may finally start coming down for some Americans.
. . .
The recently passed 600-page Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 will impact almost every sector of the American economy. But one provision has the potential to do real damage. The BBA fundamentally alters the popular and successful Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit and puts our nation further down a path towards socialized medicine.
. . .
Congressional Republicans’ move to scrap the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is likely to drive up sales of cheap, short-term health plans that do not have Obamacare’s consumer protections or benefits, health insurance experts say — a development that could further destabilize the Obamacare exchanges.
The GOP’s final tax legislation, which is now awaiting President Donald Trump’s signature, eliminates in 2019 the ACA’s mandate requiring most people to have health insurance or pay a penalty. For 2018, the penalty is set at $695 or 2.5 percent of household income, whichever is greater.
. . .
- 65 percent of GOP respondents disapprove of the Affordable Care Act’s requirement to have health insurance, from 51 percent in September.
- Disapproval of the mandate increased from 49 percent to 54 percent among all respondents, largely because of sentiment among GOP voters.
A majority of voters back a key component of President Trump’s executive order. Fifty-two percent of voters said they support Trump’s plan to make it easier for small businesses to band together in associations to sponsor low-cost, less comprehensive health care coverage across state lines, while 30 percent said they oppose the policy, according to a new Morning Consult/Politico poll. 39% believe the executive order will lead to lower insurance premiums and 36% said health insurance costs would be likely to rise.
While some progressives campaigned this week for “Medicare for all,” a group of moderate House Democrats aligned themselves with a more modest push to stabilize the ACA, arguing that it could spur broader health care reforms in the future. Thirty-five of the 61 members of the New Democrat Coalition sent a letter Friday urging the leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to agree on a bipartisan bill to keep premiums from rising further for Obamacare enrollees next year.
A majority of voters back the idea of tying Medicaid eligibility to employment status as the Trump administration weighs whether to give more states the power to impose work requirements on the government health program.
In an Aug. 10-14 Morning Consult/POLITICO poll, 1,997 registered voters were asked whether they generally support requiring individuals to have a job in order to be eligible for the program. Fifty-one percent of voters said they support that proposal, while 37 percent said they oppose it. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
. . .
For all the attention on various ways to improve Medicaid’s finances and sustainability in recent months, another key area of Medicaid policy that deserves focus is improving the state waiver process. With all the recent calls for bipartisanship, this should be an area where Democrats and Republicans can work together to improve the program.
Medicaid is a state-federal partnership and a critically-important safety net for millions of our nation’s most vulnerable patients. The program dates back to the Great Society era and will cover up to 98 million people and cost taxpayers more than $600 billion this year alone.
. . .
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.
. . .