A new Treasury ruling will allow people to buy health insurance that has lower premiums, lower deductibles and broader networks of providers. For the first time since the enactment of Obamacare, people will be able to buy insurance that meets individual and family needs rather than the needs of politicians and bureaucrats. They will also be able to pay actuarially fair premiums.
Insurers participating in Medicare Advantage will be able to negotiate directly with drugmakers in an effort to lower the cost of prescription medications under a new policy announced by the Trump administration.
Last Thursday, the Trump administration came out with a new rule that requires hospitals to post online the prices they charge for medical procedures.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a proposed rule that would overhaul the Medicare Shared Savings Program, an ACA program under which the vast majority of Medicare’s Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) operate.
Congress in 2014 ordered the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to develop a new payment system for the more than 400 million clinical laboratory tests that Medicare pays for each year so that prices would be more closely aligned with those paid by private insurers.
Democrats are making an election issue of rising health care costs, so it’s strange that they are now criticizing a new Trump Administration rule that would make cheaper insurance available to more Americans. Maybe they fear people will like it.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar recently outlined an ambitious health care policy agenda that is positively Reaganesque. The states’ diverse health insurance problems, he noted, are best resolved by the people of the states themselves.
The Trump administration moved swiftly this week to implement pieces of its plan to bring down drug prices. The Health and Human Services Department on Wednesday submitted a proposal to the White House that would curb kickback exemptions that allow drugmakers to offer insurers and pharmacy-benefit managers rebates widely blamed for keeping drug prices high. On the same day, the Food and Drug Administration released a plan to boost the market for biosimilars, or generic copies of expensive drugs that contain living organisms. On Thursday, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb also said the agency would consider allowing importation of drugs from other countries under certain conditions, including when a generic-drug company that is the sole provider of a medication significantly raises the price of that drug.
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I give the President great credit for shining his spotlight on the ridiculous place the U.S. finds itself over drug prices. They are way too high, the private market has proven incapable of dealing with it––PBMs have only made the drug market more opaque, and the biggest drug purchaser in the world, the U.S. government, has been politically unwilling to deal with it.
All while other industrialized countries have nowhere near the problem.
What is even more frustrating is to see an easy solution that has worked for years in these other industrialized countries that, rather than being a single-payer government-run solution, is as American-style free market as it could be.
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