Galen Institute president Grace-Marie Turner testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Feb. 13 about preserving consumer protections in health insurance while giving consumers more choices of affordable coverage. She focused on:
- The Trump administration’s Section 1332 guidance which gives states new authority to help their individual and small group markets heal from the damage the ACA has done. Early waivers have seen premium costs reduced by 30% or more and enrollment in health coverage increase.
- The importance of the administration’s new rule allowing people to purchase temporary health insurance (so called Short-Term Limited Duration Plans) to help them bridge gaps between coverage, either because they are between jobs, starting new businesses, or retiring early
- The strong commitment on both sides of the political aisle to pre-existing condition protections
- And the value of private agents and brokers in doing outreach for exchange enrollment—enrolling 40% of policyholders vs 1% for the ACA-created Navigators
Democrats and Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday signaled they could band together to slap clear consumer warnings on short-term limited-duration health plans.
Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) and Grace-Marie Turner, president of the conservative Galen Institute who defended the Trump administration’s expansion of short-term plans as a needed low-cost alternative to ACA coverage, agreed the limited coverage of short-term plans warranted advisories.
A political party is asking for trouble when it embraces a position on a high-profile issue that most Americans oppose. But it isn’t easy to avoid this pitfall when a majority of the party’s own members endorse that position. As the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination heats up, the Medicare for All plan first proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders risks pushing candidates into this trap.
The stakes are very high: This unforced error could give President Trump his best chance to win re-election in 2020.
The laser focus on expanding the government’s role in health care has coincided with a double-digit slide in net support for “Medicare for all” among voters from January to February, according to new data from a Morning Consult/Politico poll.
Although “Medicare for all” enjoyed net support of 27 percentage points (calculated by subtracting the share of opponents from the share of supporters) among registered voters at the onset of 2019, that share dropped 15 points in the Feb. 7-10 survey, to 12 points.