Getting Patients To Have Skin In The Game Is An Economist’s Dream, But It’s Also A Political Risk
Although experts believe high costs are being driven by the high prices of medical services in the country, Republicans are instead focusing on getting Americans to pay more for their own coverage. It's a political risk that could backfire on them. In other news, The Washington Post fact checks Rep. Marsha Blackburn's health law claim, pre-existing conditions continue to be a sticky issue, a look at how one CEO managed to not lose big under the Affordable Care Act, and more.
Los Angeles Times:
The Political Time Bomb At The Heart Of Republican Obamacare Alternatives: Higher Costs For More Americans
Republicans came into office this year promising to rescue Americans from rising healthcare bills by repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. But the party’s emerging healthcare proposals would shift even more costs to patients, feeding the very problem GOP politicians complained about under Obamacare. And their solutions could hit not only Americans who have Obamacare health plans, but also tens of millions more who rely on employer coverage or on government health plans such as Medicaid and Medicare. (Levey, 2/28)
The Washington Post Fact Checker:
Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s False Claim That Two Key Obamacare Elements Are ‘Republican Provisions’
Among the most popular parts of the Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010 with zero votes from Republican lawmakers, are provisions that prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage based on a preexisting condition and requiring that adult children up to the age of 26 can be carried on their parents’ health plan. As Republicans craft a replacement for Obamacare, many have suggested that these ideas will be carried forward. Yet we were surprised when we saw that, in response to a question about whether these provisions would be in the replacement, Rep. Marsha Blackburn told people in her district that these were actually “two Republican provisions which made it into the [Obamacare] bill.” (Kessler, 2/28)
Fears Over Pre-Existing Conditions Haunt Obamacare Debate
Republican lawmakers will resume work on an Obamacare replacement plan this week after facing anxious hometown crowds who fear losing guaranteed coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. GOP lawmakers have vowed their replacement plan will keep the requirement that insurers accept everyone regardless of potentially costly medical conditions. But the Republican proposals would be different than Obamacare in a key respect: They would allow insurers to charge more to sick people who had been uninsured right before trying to enroll in a new plan. (Haberkorn, 2/27)
This CEO's Small Insurance Firm Mostly Turned A Profit Under Obamacare. Here's How
Some large health insurance companies have suffered losses under the Affordable Care Act, leading to a few high-profile exits from the health exchanges. Humana is just the latest, announcing in January that it will stop offering health insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchanges at the end of 2017.But the administrators of a smaller, California-based insurer — Molina Healthcare — managed to turn a modest profit in the early years of the health law. How did they do it? (Dembosky, 2/28)
Tennesseans Want Obamacare Repealed — But Not Yet, MTSU Poll Says
Tennessee voters want Obamacare repealed, but only after Congress has rolled out a replacement plan, according to a wide-ranging new poll from Middle Tennessee State University that exposed the state's deep partisan divides. In addition to the fate of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, the poll touched on other controversial topics, including illegal immigration, abortion, President Donald Trump's allegations of voter fraud and school vouchers. In almost every case, voters' opinions seemed tightly tied to their political leanings. (Tamburin, 2/27)
Health Insurance Premium Subsidies Are Almost Here. What You Need To Know.
Eligible Minnesotans should start seeing discounts on their health insurance premiums in May, as part of a $310 million relief package signed into law in January by Gov. Mark Dayton. State officials said Monday that the relief remains on track to arrive this spring as intended. Though the relief bill was passed in January, building computer systems to administer the relief isn’t simple and will take insurance companies eight to 12 weeks from the late-January bill passage. (Montgomery, 2/27)