A long-shot bid to derail the Trump administration’s expansion of short-term health plans died in the Senate on Wednesday, even with Sen. Susan Collins providing the lone Republican vote for the resolution.
The Senate vote ended in a 50-50 tie, falling short of the majority needed to pass the measure reversing new regulations allowing insurers to sell skimpy health plans outside the Obamacare markets for up to a year, rather than the previous limit of three months.
President Trump on Wednesday signed two bills banning “gag clauses” that keep patients in the dark about how to save money on prescription drugs.
The clauses are sometimes included in the contracts insurers have with pharmacies — preventing pharmacies from telling customers they can save money on a drug if they pay with cash instead of using their health insurance.
“This is very strong legislation to end these unjust gag clauses once and for all,” Trump said during a signing ceremony at the White House.
In practice, the Democratic Party’s so-called Medicare for All would really be Medicare for None. Under the Democrats’ plan, today’s Medicare would be forced to die. The Democrats’ plan also would mean the end of choice for seniors over their own health care decisions. Instead, Democrats would give total power and control over seniors’ health care decisions to the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.
The Trump administration handed the decision about whether to offer short-term, limited duration health care plans over to the states. California immediately passed legislation to ban the sale of these plans, which the Trump administration had expanded access to by allowing for a longer renewal period and carrying time. Doug Badger, an expert on these plans, talks about why California’s decision is bad news for people seeking affordable alternatives to Obamacare Exchange plans and how, despite this, the move to let states decide is the intent of a federalist system.
The Senate appears poised to vote soon on a Congressional Review Act resolution sponsored by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) that would rescind the Trump administration’s final rule on “short-term limited duration insurance.” Nearly every Senate Democrat has cosponsored the Baldwin resolution because they believe it would protect consumers. It would do exactly the opposite.
The recent editorial regarding the supposed benefits of Medicaid expansion to Louisiana overlooked several important facts. Your editorial correctly noted that enrollment in Obamacare’s expansion to able-bodied adults exceeded projections by more than 100,000 individuals. As a result of this underestimation, an expansion originally projected to total $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion annually cost an estimated $3.1 billion during the last fiscal year.
Congress must get back to work, repeal the dysfunctional status quo, and make a serious start on comprehensive health care reform.
The “Health Care Choices Proposal,” developed by a broad range of conservative think tanks, would replace Obamacare’s spending schemes with state block grants to help the poor and the sick to get health coverage. It would restore regulatory responsibility to the states, and it would allow people enrolled in public programs such as Medicaid to redirect public dollars to private health plans of their choice—if they wished to do so.
The Center for Health and Economy found that our recommendations to replace Obamacare entitlements with formula grants to the states would reduce premiums for individual coverage by as much as a third. The Health Care Choices Proposal also would modestly reduce the deficit, increase the number of people with private health insurance, and cut Medicaid spending.
On July 24, 2018, liberal activists announced they collected enough signatures to place Medicaid expansion on Idaho’s November 2018 ballot. If voters approve this initiative, Idaho will expand the program to able-bodied adults that earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line.
Supporters of Medicaid expansion claim the program will generate millions of dollars in new revenue and save money, citing a recent report from the consulting firm Milliman. However, an earlier 2016 report from Milliman determined Medicaid expansion would cost Idaho almost $3 billion more than its new estimates. The firm argues its 2018 estimates are more accurate because Medicaid expansion has cost other states less than previously thought, but this claim is completely without merit.
A few states have found a key to undoing some of Obamacare’s damage to their individual health insurance markets by redirecting some federal funding to help sick people. These states are providing separate assistance to those with the highest health costs, thereby reducing premiums and increasing enrollment for healthy people driven out of the market by soaring costs.