Health care is one of the most regulated industries in American life.
Consider the myriad regulations preventing Americans from accessing quality care — and these potential solutions for giving health care reform a shot:
Short-Term, Limited-Duration Health Insurance Plans
Health Reimbursement Accounts
Repeal State Certificate of Need Laws
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed polices for 2020 to strengthen and modernize the Medicare Part C and D programs. The proposal would ensure that Medicare Advantage and Part D plans have more tools to negotiate lower drug prices, and the agency is also considering a policy that would require pharmacy rebates to be passed on to seniors to lower their drug costs at the pharmacy counter.
We’ve entered the last two months of the 115th Congress, the last Congress under Republican control for who-knows-how-long. Many Republicans think the midterm disappointment was an aberration, and that reclaiming control of the House is more-or-less a given thing in the next election cycle. But the future is a foreign country. Democrats controlled the House of Representatives for years, until they didn’t. Who is to say when the House returns to Republican control?
The 2020 presidential election will be consequential for the future of health reform, with the two major-party nominees taking very different views on the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as the policies needed to lower health costs and continue to expand access to coverage. The Republican nominee will likely signal broad opposition to the ACA and a desire to replace it with a state innovation–based approach to reform, based on the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson legislation considered by the Senate in the fall of 2017. This article takes that legislation as a starting point, contextualizes it within the broader health reform discussion, and suggests ways to improve upon it to enhance the affordability of and access to coverage and to ensure that states have adequate flexibility to implement their policy goals.
Health care is still a top concern for many Americans. Members of Congress must now decide how to move forward. Their task: providing a coherent answer to our national anxiety over health care. We can expect repeated efforts from Democrats to push various forms of a government-run health system over the next two years. Fortunately, conservative policy experts, working together at the national, state, and grassroots levels, have developed just such an alternative. The Health Care Choice Proposal would make coverage far more affordable—lowering premiums by up to 32%, according to the Center for Health and Economy. Moreover, it would ensure that everyone could access a quality, private coverage arrangement of their choice.
Humana’s shift from fee-for-service medicine to value-based payments for physicians continues to reduce costs and improve quality of care for seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, the insurer says, citing a new internal study. Medical costs were nearly 16% lower for seniors enrolled in Humana Medicare Advantage plans that paid physicians via value-based models in 2017 compared to costs of those in traditional fee-for service Medicare, the Louisville-based insurer’s study, released Tuesday showed. Medicare Advantage plans contract with the federal government to provide extra benefits and services to seniors, such as disease management and nurse help hotlines, with some even providing vision and dental care and wellness programs.
The midterm elections abruptly shifted the health-care landscape across the country, resulting in a divided Congress that could mean most changes unfold on the state level. Health care was the No. 1 issue among voters this election, according to an AP survey of about 90,000 people. The voting results suggested a rebuke to repeated Republican efforts to roll back the health law, and that many Americans care deeply about issues such as coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. The split between red and blue states means that statehouses will continue to pursue opposite directions in health care. Voters approved Democratic-backed ballot initiatives to expand Medicaid in three states—Idaho, Utah and Nebraska—while rejecting a similar proposal in Montana.
Remember when Democrats promised that if you liked your plan or your doctor you could keep them? Now they’re pushing another bogus claim, accusing Republicans of wanting to take away health insurance protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Here’s the truth: everyone — Republicans and Democrats — support protecting people with pre-existing conditions.
A group of free-market health care reformers have developed a reform that would sharply reduce premiums for individuals, wouldn’t cause millions to lose coverage, and would save taxpayers money.
Called the “Health Care Choices Proposal,” it would continue to have the government subsidize individual insurance, but would do so through block grants to states, rather than payments to insurance companies under ObamaCare.
The plan would let consumers apply subsidies to any type of plan they wanted, not just overpriced ObamaCare plans. And to lower insurance costs, it would lift many of ObamaCare’s costliest and most disruptive mandates, while continuing to protect those with pre-existing conditions.
And to encourage people to stay insured, the plan would also offer premium discounts for those who continuously enrolled.
Republicans could try again to repeal Obamacare if they win enough seats in U.S. elections next month, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday, calling a failed 2017 push to repeal the healthcare law a “disappointment.”
In a forecast of 2019 policy goals tempered by uncertainty about who would win the congressional elections, McConnell blamed social programs, such as Social Security and Medicare, for the fast-rising national debt.