President Trump on Wednesday signed two bills banning “gag clauses” that keep patients in the dark about how to save money on prescription drugs.
The clauses are sometimes included in the contracts insurers have with pharmacies — preventing pharmacies from telling customers they can save money on a drug if they pay with cash instead of using their health insurance.
“This is very strong legislation to end these unjust gag clauses once and for all,” Trump said during a signing ceremony at the White House.
Congress must get back to work, repeal the dysfunctional status quo, and make a serious start on comprehensive health care reform.
The “Health Care Choices Proposal,” developed by a broad range of conservative think tanks, would replace Obamacare’s spending schemes with state block grants to help the poor and the sick to get health coverage. It would restore regulatory responsibility to the states, and it would allow people enrolled in public programs such as Medicaid to redirect public dollars to private health plans of their choice—if they wished to do so.
The Center for Health and Economy found that our recommendations to replace Obamacare entitlements with formula grants to the states would reduce premiums for individual coverage by as much as a third. The Health Care Choices Proposal also would modestly reduce the deficit, increase the number of people with private health insurance, and cut Medicaid spending.
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 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.
To get health care costs under control, we must restore market forces and equip patients to be involved in their care. That means empowering the doctor-patient relationship, which benefits not just the patient’s health, but also the patient’s pocketbook. Currently, practice, laws and regulations work to keep the power and money surrounding health care decisions in the hands of bureaucrats, lawyers and lobbyists. That is wrong.
A bipartisan group of senators is unveiling a draft measure to crack down on surprise medical bills, which they say have plagued patients with massive unexpected charges for care.
The measure would prevent a health care provider that is outside of a patient’s insurance network from charging additional costs for emergency services to patients beyond the amount usually allowed under their insurance plan.
The House Rules Committee says it will be considering a bill that would: 1. Change the ACA employer coverage mandate threshold for “full-time employee” to 40 hours per week, from 30 hours per week; 2. Keep the ACA employer coverage mandate from applying to any month beginning after Dec. 31, 2014, and before Jan. 1, 2019; 3. Postpone the start date of the ACA excise tax on high-cost health benefits packages to Dec. 31, 2022, from the Dec. 31, 2021; 4. Repeal an ACA excise tax on indoor tanning services; and 5. Require employers to provide Form 1095 coverage statements to individuals only when individuals ask for the statements, instead of having to send the statements to all employees, recently departed employees and certain dependents every year.
Last year’s war on Capitol Hill over repealing Obamacare might suggest that when it comes to health care, Democrats and Republicans can’t agree on anything. But we think that’s too simplistic.
While Democrats and Republicans remain sharply divided over the future of the Affordable Care Act, the law commonly known as Obamacare, there is bipartisan consensus that health care needs to become more affordable.