In the case of Democrats using statewide numbers for people with preexisting conditions for votes concerning the AHCA, that’s worthy of Four Pinocchios. They’ve taken high-end estimates for the entire insurance market, even though the law affected only the individual market. Different states also would have had to proactively seek waivers. The Congressional Budget Office found that in states with one-sixth of the U.S. population, there could be turmoil in the insurance markets – but that meant it might be fine in other states. There’s little excuse to apply numbers for the entire insurance market to the much-smaller individual market.
Many readers no doubt take comfort in living thousands of miles away from the tax and spending misadventures of Illinois or Connecticut. But fair warning: One of the worst deals in state spending is coming to a red state near you, and that’s expanding Medicaid to adult men above the poverty line. The perversity of spending more on childless men than pregnant women is reason enough to reject expansion, but there are others. Every state that has expanded Medicaid has blown the budget by spending more money on more people. The cost overruns are more than double on average.
Medicaid was designed for providing health care to low-income pregnant women, children, the elderly and the disabled. Expanding it beyond its original purpose is driving a nearly $300 million hole in the Kentucky state budget. Expansion made it harder for Medicaid’s core users to get the care they needed, and harder to reduce waiting lists of children with developmental disabilities who need critical therapeutic services.
These outcomes are not unique to Kentucky. Nationwide, the per-person cost of expanding Medicaid has exceeded projections by 76 percent. Enrollment has nearly doubled original estimates. And predictions about the total cost missed the mark by 157 percent.
If Utahns approve Proposition 3, they’ll be signing up for the same financial disaster.
The its 2019 State of Healthcare and Politics Report from insuranceQuotes.com unveils Americans’ knowledge, views and predictions surrounding the ACA, President Trump’s impact on the law, and the state of healthcare between now and 2020.
According to the report, 41% of Americans say they do not know what healthcare open enrollment is.
Other survey findings include: 38% are unaware that the ACA is still in effect; 24% of Americans say they view the ACA less positively after the 2016 election; and 18% say their view on the ACA have been “more favorable” since the election.
A new guidance issued Monday by the Trump administration loosens restrictions states face to waive ObamaCare requirements and will allow them to pursue conservative health policies that were previously not allowed under the Obama administration.
Currently, states can apply for waivers from certain ObamaCare policies in order to help shore up individual insurance markets. The waivers were designed with specific “guardrails” meant to ensure that the waivers met at least the same coverage level as under ObamaCare.
The new guidance loosens those restrictions and allows states to promote health plans that don’t require the same level of coverage as the federal health law.
Amgen announced on Wednesday it is creating much lower pricing categories for its innovative biologic, Repatha, reducing the list price by 60%—from the current $14,600 to $5,850 a year. Patients who pay a share of the list price through co-insurance can see immediate savings. The company says it hopes that insurers will see the value of adjusting their formulary tiers to include the drug and make it more accessible and affordable to patients. The list price cut is a market-based approach that is much more likely to succeed in lowering drug prices while allowing investments in research for new innovative therapies to continue.
President Trump took his most significant action yet to lower drug prices, saying his administration is moving to stop “global freeloading” by foreign nations when it comes to the price that Americans pay for prescription drugs. The announcement is a sign that the president and his aides are shifting their focus to health care two weeks before the midterm elections.
In a speech Thursday afternoon at the Department of Health and Human Services, Trump said his administration would be taking the “revolutionary” step of allowing Medicare to directly negotiate prices with drug companies that he says have “rigged” the system, leading to U.S. patients paying more for their medicines.
Doug Badger, a senior fellow at the Galen Institute, says young adults will be the group most adversely affected by the ban on short-term plans.
“Ages 26 to 34, in particular, have the highest uninsured rates in the country,” Badger said. “The reason for that is the ACA regulations charge them unfairly high premiums to subsidize, essentially, their parents. People in their twenties and thirties are asked to pay unfairly high premiums to subsidize those in the fifties and sixties, who purchase plans for unfairly low rates.” Skyrocketing premiums have reduced the number of young adults purchasing insurance, Badger says, and the short-term plans could help remedy that.
State proposals to allow residents who don’t qualify for Medicaid to buy into the program are gaining steam, but providers are concerned that could cut deep into state budgets, drive physicians out of Medicaid’s already-skimpier networks and shift more costs to the commercial insurance market.
Providers’ worries about state Medicaid buy-in options are similar to their unease over the “Medicare for all” plan pushed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), which is gaining steam with progressive Democrats in Congress.