We don’t know what will emerge as President Trump’s plan to replace Obamacare, which he has promised to unveil immediately after the 2020 elections. But he has recently endorsed several proposals, and they could provide clues. A group of conservative health policy experts has developed a health care proposal that would hand states blocks of money and a few rules, and encourage them to develop their own health care systems. The plan would require that government-subsidized systems offer every American a choice of a private health plan, a requirement that would probably foreclose a liberal state from enacting a single-payer program and that might require restructuring of some state-run Medicaid programs.
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Sunday that the White House plans to release an Obamacare replacement plan before the 2020 election, after hosting top administration officials at Camp David over the weekend for a meeting on health care. “I do think you’ll see a plan here fairly shortly,” Mulvaney said. White House aides and administration officials—including HHS Secretary Alex Azar and Seema Verma, CMS administrator—huddled at the historic Maryland property on Saturday to discuss the general path forward for President Trump’s health care policy, White House aides said. The talks ranged from messaging strategies to lowering drug prices to individual health insurance marketplaces.
Dominant hospital systems use an array of secret contract terms to protect their turf and block efforts to curb health-care costs. As part of these deals, hospitals can demand insurers include them in every plan and discourage use of less-expensive rivals. Other terms allow hospitals to mask prices from consumers, limit audits of claims, add extra fees and block efforts to exclude health-care providers based on quality or cost.
Nearly a quarter of a million British patients have been waiting more than six months to receive planned medical treatment from the National Health Service, according to a recent report from the Royal College of Surgeons. More than 36,000 have been in treatment queuesfor nine months or more.
Long waits for care are endemic to government-run, single-payer systems like the NHS. Yet some U.S. lawmakers want to import that model from across the pond. That would be a massive blunder.
President Trump has tasked three Republican senators with coming up with a replacement for Obamacare if courts strike it down. It’s a prudent contingency plan. Republicans should, for that matter, advance their own health-care plan even if the lawsuit fails. They cannot prevent Democrats from attacking them over health care by abandoning the issue.Obamacare’s key innovation was not the subsidization of Americans’ health-insurance purchases, an enterprise in which the federal government had been engaged for decades, albeit on a somewhat smaller scale. It was the centralization of health-insurance regulation in Washington, D.C. It is that centralization, and accompanying curtailment of choice and raising of costs, that Republicans tasked with replacing Obamacare should now work to undo.
On Tuesday, Americans for Tax Reform held a Capitol Hill briefing on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposal to subject Medicare Part B drugs to an “International Pricing Index” (IPI).
As ATR has written extensively, the IPI payment model will effectively import foreign price controls into the United States, lowering quality and access to lifesaving medicine. In November, ATR led a coalition of 56 conservative groups in opposition to the IPI.
ATR President Grover Norquist opened the panel by highlighting the effects of the proposal on trade, saying: “Under this rule, every time we win on trade, the administration would have to raise drug prices on Americans. This is a truly bad idea.”
The Trump administration has decided to challenge the constitutionality of Obamacare in court. Some Republicans in Congress and even some in the administration resisted this decision. Critics assume that if there is no Obamacare, we would revert to the pre-Obamacare health system. If so, how bad would that be? Let’s take a look.
“If the Supreme Court rules that Obamacare is out,” President Donald Trump said last week, “we’ll have a plan that is far better than Obamacare.”
A look at his fiscal year 2020 budget shows that the president has a plan to reduce costs and increase health care choices. His plan would achieve this by redirecting federal premium subsidies and Medicaid expansion money into grants to states. States would be required to use the money to establish consumer-centered programs that make health insurance affordable regardless of income or medical condition.
The president’s proposal is buttressed by a growing body of evidence that relaxing federal regulations and freeing the states to innovate makes health care more affordable for families and small businesses.
Two Democratic senators rolled out a proposal Tuesday that would allow anyone to buy Medicare plans.
The introduction of “Medicare X” comes as the Democratic Party debates its next steps on health care, with the left wing of the caucus pushing for a single-payer “Medicare for all” system and more moderate members supporting efforts to strengthen the ACA.
“I just think this is a much more practical way of trying to achieve the objective of universal coverage, and over time, a reduction in our expenditures on health care, then practically any other proposal that’s been made since the ACA was passed,” said Sen. Michael Benet (D-CO), who sponsored the bill with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA).
There’s a new entry into the rising Democratic debate over wide-ranging overhauls of the US health care system, this one from a House Democratic freshman who flipped a Republican district in 2018.
New York Democratic Rep. Antonio Delgado plans to introduce legislation Monday that would allow all Americans to buy into a version of Medicare — an approach designed to avoid the substantial system-wide overhaul that would come with any effort to create a government-run health care system.