Consider what the average American thinks they hear about “Medicare for All.” They probably think everyone would get the same Medicare coverage currently going to their parents and grandparents. Not so. Despite the clever branding, the Medicare for All plan that Harris has supported is actually a universal coverage plan that covers more services than Medicare while eliminating deductibles, co-insurance, and co-pays. Indeed, once more Americans hear about Medicare for All, they might start wondering how total healthcare spending would be the same or ever less under such a regime.
Academic justifications for 70% marginal tax rates, such as Peter Diamond and Emmanuel Saez’s, are nothing more than a veneer intended to deceive a wider audience that doesn’t know better. Diamond and Saez’s original argument for a 70% tax rate—that it would enhance both tax revenue and social welfare—ignores the long-term consequences of high tax rates on growth. They assume that taxing, redistributing, and consuming income that taxpayers would otherwise invest doesn’t reduce investment. While admitting that taxes discourage work, they similarly assume that a reduced supply of properly trained talent has no effect on the willingness of investors and entrepreneurs to take risks that grow the economy.
- Regional associations launched 71 percent of new AHPs
- Vast majority of new regional associations are chamber of commerce-based
- 4 out of 5 new AHPs are insured through a third-party insurance company as opposed to self-funded
- Maximum savings claims average higher for self-funded plans than fully-insured plans, though both are in double digits
- Half of new AHPs offer medical savings account options such as a HSA
- Multi-state professional association health plans in planning but taking longer to reach market
- Half of new AHPs are limited to companies of 2-50 employees
- 43 percent of new AHPs are available to sole proprietors and the self-employed
- Benefit information trends toward comprehensive health coverage that includes items such as mental health benefits and prescription drug coverage alongside mandated benefits such as maternity
At a town hall event, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Ca.), who recently launched her presidential campaign, said she wants to eliminate private insurance entirely, which would mean that about 177 million people would lose their existing plan.
After noting that the Sanders-sponsored Medicare for All legislation that Harris supports would totally eliminate all private insurance, moderator Jake Tapper asked, “So for people out there who like their insurance—they don’t get to keep it?”
Harris responded with a somewhat winding answer that amounts to a yes.
“The idea,” she said, “is that everyone gets access to medical care and you don’t have to go through the process of going through an insurance company, having them give you approval, going through all the paperwork, all of the delay that may require. Who of us have not had that situation where you have to wait for approval and the doctor says, ‘I don’t know if your insurance company is going to cover this.’ Let’s eliminate all of that. Let’s move on.”
The shrill criticism of the Arkansas’s Medicaid work requirements is not supported by facts. Health policy analysts have long been puzzled that millions of uninsured people snub the government’s offer of free health benefits. The reason so many Medicaid recipients failed to comply with the Arkansas work requirement may be as simple as this: They didn’t consider the benefits worth the effort. Yet, a study by the Buckeye Institute found that people who favorably respond to work requirements will earn far more—in some cases nearly $1 million more—over the course of a lifetime than those who remain on Medicaid and don’t increase their work efforts.
The Trump administration is rolling out the policy specifics for a central promise in its plan to lower drug prices—taking on the system’s middlemen. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has long had his eye on pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and the rebates that are their bread and butter. The proposal HHS unveiled yesterday would essentially ban those rebates in Medicare and Medicaid, forcing PBMs to collect a flat fee for their work.
The federal government now finances 90% of the cost of Medicaid expansion, but that doesn’t make it free. A recent report found that Medicaid represents about 29.7% of total state spending in fiscal year 2018. In 2008 it was 20.5%. These numbers will continue to grow, sucking up more of our limited funds. Thanks to a lack of fiscal discipline from both parties—and the unwillingness of the American people to confront our perilous finances—we are currently running trillion-dollar deficits and the national debt stands at around $22 trillion. We can’t pay for the government we have; expansion will just add to the burden of future generations.
President Trump spoke out on Wednesday against surprise medical bills, highlighting an issue that has received bipartisan concern in Congress. “The health care system too often harms people with some unfair surprises … medical bills and the like,” Trump said. “We’re going to stop all of it, and it’s very important to me,” Trump added. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) unveiled bipartisan legislation to end surprise medical bills in September, Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) has legislation on the topic as does Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) in the House.
|Price controls prevent drug companies from even having a chance to profit, thus destroying the incentive to invest. Developing a new prescription drug is an extremely risky endeavor, typically taking up to 15 years and $2.6 billion. The failure rate is extremely high; about 9-in-10 experimental drugs that enter clinical trials never receive regulatory approval. Investors are only willing to fund this risky research because they might profit if a drug is successful. Artificially capping drug prices would also discourage research and the development of tomorrow’s miracle drugs.
Short-term plans are temporary insurance plans that provide health coverage for individuals and families for a limited period—and can be renewed for up to three years. Short-term plans can be purchased at any time, unlike other plans available on the individual market which restrict enrollment to open enrollment periods or following a life-changing event. Coverage usually begins within a few days compared to other medical coverage that can take several weeks to begin. Because short-term plans are not subject to all of the same federal regulations as plans in the individual market, premiums are far more affordable and insurers can offer more customized choices. So why would nearly a dozen states ban them?