The only people more eager than progressive Democrats for hearings on Medicare for All are conservative Republicans.
GOP lawmakers, fresh off an electoral shellacking fueled in large part by health care concerns, are now trolling Democrats with demands for hearings on the sweeping single-payer bill set to be introduced this month. They’re confident that revelations about its potential cost and elimination of most private insurance will give them potent lines of attack heading into 2020 — an election that President Donald Trump is already framing as a debate about “socialism.”
Many things affect your health. Genetics. Lifestyle. Modern medicine. The environment in which you live and work.
But although we rarely consider it, the degree of competition among health care organizations does so as well.
Markets for both hospitals and physicians have become more concentrated in recent years. Although higher prices are the consequences most often discussed, such consolidation can also result in worse health care. Studies show that rates of mortality and of major health setbacks grow when competition falls.
The Trump administration is proposing steps aimed at improving patients’ access to their own health data, bolstering efforts to bring information including insurance claims, hospital and doctor records to digital devices such as smartphones.
Federal health regulators unveiled two major proposed regulations closely watched by health and technology companies, amid a growing flood of health data that has become an ever-more-valuable asset. The draft rules touch on a broad array of issues, including technology standards that are supposed to help unlock digital data stored in the electronic health records used by hospitals and doctors to track patients’ care.
The White House’s plan to lower federal drug payments and stop incentivizing doctors to use the most expensive drugs is a long-overdue, commonsense move to control our nation’s health care costs. And its implementation should be a top priority.
Spending for health care is unsustainable, representing about 17 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. In fact, it’s outpacing GDP growth by 1 percent annually.
Health policy analysts have long been puzzled that millions of uninsured people snub the government’s offer of free health benefits. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that seven million of the 27.5 million nonelderly people who were uninsured in 2016 were eligible for Medicaid. That’s more than one-fourth of the uninsured population. Another eight million were eligible for Obamacare premium subsidies, meaning that more than half the nonelderly uninsured didn’t avail themselves of government-subsidized health coverage.
Academic research suggests one possible reason: Medicaid recipients aren’t the primary beneficiaries of the program’s spending.
The White House released a report showing that the economic benefits of recent administration and congressional actions on health coverage will total $450 billion over ten years. The report analyzes the economic effects of the administration’s rules on association health plans, short term limited duration plans, and repeal of the mandate. This is the first comprehensive analysis of these important regulatory changes. It finds that, contrary to those who argue that these actions would harm consumers, Americans will benefit significantly from these consumer-friendly policies.