Health insurance enrollment has declined among people who do not qualify for financial help under Obamacare, new federal data show. The data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Monday show that enrollment declined by 1.2 million people, or 24%, between 2017 and 2018 among people with incomes too high to qualify for Obamacare subsidies and who therefore face the full brunt of premium cost increases. In contrast, in the same period, enrollment ticked up among those with subsidized coverage by 300,000 people.
President Trump wants you to see upfront prices for health care. That’s why a few months ago, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently published a request for comments about whether and how to end secret prices in health care. The deadline for comments was last week, and the submissions from the industries most threatened by consumers knowing and comparing prices — hospitals and insurance companies — are an exercise in Swamp-o-nomics.
More than 1 in 4 Americans say they or a family member went without needed health care in the past two years because they felt they could not afford it, according to a new poll.
The survey from Monmouth University released Monday finds that 27 percent of adults say they or a member of their household have avoided necessary medical care in the past two years because of cost. That figure is down slightly from 2017, when 31 percent said they had skipped care.
Americans pay a lot for pharmaceuticals, and politicians of all stripes are offering prescription drug price-relief proposals to force prices downward. Top-down approaches, though, carry a high chance of failure. The astronomical price incorporates the massive up-front costs of testing and gaining FDA approval. The often erratic and unpredictable process can take 15 years and $1.5 billion. Most prospective drugs never make it to market. That’s much of what you’re paying for. Second, despite popular perception, drug manufacturers are only middle-of-the-road among American industries in terms of profitability. Employ blunt price controls, and you’ll likely cut industry profitability, drive investors away, and discourage development of new drugs.
House Democrats on Wednesday unveiled a more moderate proposal for expanding health care coverage than M4All legislation supported by a number of the party’s 2020 presidential candidates. The Medicare for America Act, sponsored by Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), would not move the entire country into a single government-sponsored health plan. It would preserve employer-based coverage but allow Americans to enroll in an expanded Medicare plan, with caps on what people would have to pay in premiums.
About 20 million Americans have gained coverage under ObamaCare since it was passed in 2010, but nearly 9 percent — 30 million people — still don’t have health insurance.
All Democrats running for president say they want to provide universal health care coverage to Americans. But they have different ideas about how to get there.
Here are the plans they keep talking about on the campaign trail and what they would do.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Wednesday unveiled his revamped Medicare for all bill with the support of four Senate Democrats also running for president. Sanders, who is again seeking the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, rolled out the bill that would largely eliminate private insurance and institute a single-payer system managed by the government. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Cory Booker (NJ) and Kamala Harris (CA)—all 2020 Democratic presidential candidates—again signed on to the bill after also supporting it in 2017. The updated version will also include coverage for long-term care, such as nursing homes, which is currently not covered by the Medicare program. No cost estimate was provided.
Two Democratic senators rolled out a proposal Tuesday that would allow anyone to buy Medicare plans.
The introduction of “Medicare X” comes as the Democratic Party debates its next steps on health care, with the left wing of the caucus pushing for a single-payer “Medicare for all” system and more moderate members supporting efforts to strengthen the ACA.
“I just think this is a much more practical way of trying to achieve the objective of universal coverage, and over time, a reduction in our expenditures on health care, then practically any other proposal that’s been made since the ACA was passed,” said Sen. Michael Benet (D-CO), who sponsored the bill with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA).
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar revealed Thursday that his department is in talks with states about instituting block grants in Medicaid without congressional approval.
“We have discussions with states where they will come in and suggest ideas,” Azar said at a Senate hearing in response to questions from Sen. Bob CaseyJr. (D-Pa.). “There may be states that have asked about block granting, per capita, restructurings around especially expansion populations … It’s at their instigation.”
President Trump spoke out on Wednesday against surprise medical bills, highlighting an issue that has received bipartisan concern in Congress. “The health care system too often harms people with some unfair surprises … medical bills and the like,” Trump said. “We’re going to stop all of it, and it’s very important to me,” Trump added. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) unveiled bipartisan legislation to end surprise medical bills in September, Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) has legislation on the topic as does Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) in the House.