In June, the Health Policy Consensus Group released a health care reform plan called “The Health Care Choices Proposal.” The stated purpose of this plan, referred to in this report as the Proposal, is the expansion of choice and lowering of costs. The Proposal’s key feature is a block grant allocated to the states beginning in 2020, giving states resources and authority to design their own programs aimed at making insurance more affordable. All impacts projected in this report are relative to H&E’s March 2018 baseline.

  • Premium Impact: The Proposal is projected to decrease the cost of premiums for private individual market health insurance coverage. Silver plans would see the largest impact, as premiums would decrease by 15 to 32 percent beginning in 2020 relative to the baseline.
  • Coverage Impact: The Proposal is projected to result in nearly 1 million fewer people purchasing insurance by 2028, with enrollment holding steady earlier in the 10-year window.

The average cost of employer health coverage offered to workers rose to nearly $20,000 for a family plan this year, according to a new survey, capping years of increases that experts said are chiefly tied to rising prices paid for health services.

Annual premiums rose 5% to $19,616 for an employer-provided family plan in 2018, according to the yearly poll of employers by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation. Employers, seeking to blunt the cost of premiums, also continued to boost the deductibles that workers must pay out of their pockets before insurance kicks in

When Republicans tried to repeal the 2010 health care law last year, Democrats knew they had an issue that would define this election cycle. A year and a half later, health care is still dominating Democratic messaging.

Take New York’s 19th District, which stretches  where GOP freshman John J. Faso faces Democratic lawyer Antonio Delgado.

“Everywhere I travel across this district, and it’s big, there’s no doubt that health care is the most important issue on people’s minds,” Delgado said at a recent candidate forum here in the sprawling upstate district. “We’re in crisis.”

As Democrats enter the final sprint in a campaign where health care is a dominant issue and a House takeover seems achievable, they are split on whether to promise coverage for everyone, which would fuel an already revved-up liberal base, or target centrist voters by campaigning on the more modest goal of fixing the Obama-era health law.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma on Wednesday cited reduced Obamacare premiums and expanded choices as evidence that the Trump administration has not “sabotaged” the healthcare law, as charged by Democrats.

“For the very first time, rates have [been] going down… I think we have been successful in that area,” Verma said at an event hosted by the Economist Group in D.C.

The Health Care Choices plan would let Idaho find its own solutions to help the working poor.  The state would receive a formula grant and gain new flexibility to approve policies that are more affordable than Obamacare.

If Idaho votes instead to accept Medicaid expansion, taxpayers, the privately insured, and especially those who need traditional Medicaid would pay an unfortunate price.

Obamacare’s individual mandate has been paid 19.6 million times, forcing Americans to send $8.4 billion to Washington. Over 80% of penalty payers made less than $50k/year.

Obamacare premiums are expected to drop 2 percent nationally next year, and the total number of insurers on the federal exchange will grow for the first time in four years, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Thursday during remarks in Nashville.

Azar credited President Donald Trump for the improving insurance marketplace, saying that Trump had proven “better at managing” the Affordable Care Act, known widely as Obamacare, than the law’s namesake.

A top health official in the Trump administration defended Medicaid work requirements Thursday, arguing that its intent isn’t to expel people from the program.

“Community engagement requirements are not some subversive attempt to just kick people off of Medicaid,” Seema Verma, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said in a speech in Washington, D.C. “Instead, their aim is to put beneficiaries in control with the right incentives to live healthier, independent lives.”

Small Business Owners say that the most important issue affecting them is the cost of health care, according to the National Small Business Association’s annual Politics of Small Business Survey.

When asked what issues they raised most with elected officials, 40 percent of the surveyed owners said health care costs. Local issues were second on the list at 28 percent and tax reform came third with 37 percent.