Marketplace Will Slide Into Death Spiral Under Skinny Plan, Insurers Warn
Young, healthy people would no longer have an incentive to buy insurance if the individual mandate is scrapped, thus driving costs up for everyone. Meanwhile, KHN offers a look at how "things went badly" when states tried to lift coverage requirements.
The Wall Street Journal:
Insurers Warn About Lack Of Coverage Mandate In Senate’s ‘Skinny Repeal’ Option
Health insurers came out strongly against the idea of any bare-bones health-care bill that would repeal the ACA’s coverage mandate without other measures aimed at stabilizing the law’s insurance exchanges. “If there is no longer a requirement for everyone to purchase coverage, it is critical that any legislation include strong incentives for people to obtain health insurance and keep it year-round,” the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association said in a statement. “A system that allows people to purchase coverage only when they need it drives up costs for everyone.” (Armour, Wilde Mathews and Hackman, 7/26)
Kaiser Health News:
States Have Tried Versions Of ‘Skinny Repeal.’ It Didn’t Go Well.
Betting that thin is in — and might be the only way forward — Senate Republicans are eyeing a “skinny repeal” that rolls back an unpopular portion of the federal health law. But experts warn that the idea has been tried before, and with little success. Senators are reportedly considering a narrow bill that would eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s “individual mandate,” which assesses a tax on Americans who don’t have insurance, along with penalties for employers with 50 or more workers who fail to offer health coverage. (Appleby, 7/27)
'Skinny' Repeal Could Have Big Ramifications For Obamacare Markets
Senate Republicans are hoping a “skinny” repeal bill can solve their stalemate over dismantling Obamacare. But this partial Obamacare repeal — which is gaining steam in the Senate — could destabilize already wobbly Obamacare insurance markets, make premiums jump and increase the number of uninsured by millions, health policy experts say. “I call it the 20-percent-increase-in-premiums-and-at least-15-million-out-of-insurance plan,” Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said. “It’s a terrible idea.” (Demko, 7/26)
Los Angeles Times:
Obamacare 101: Would A 'Skinny Repeal' Trigger A Death Spiral?
Few experts believe that the employer mandate has had much effect, largely because the vast majority of large employers already provide health benefits. In fact, when the Obama administration delayed implementation of the mandate, there was little evidence that employers started dropping coverage. Repealing the so-called individual mandate is potentially more problematic. Independent analyses by the Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, and others suggest that without some kind of penalty, many healthy Americans would not get insurance until they were sick. That would push up health insurance costs, causing what people in the business call a death spiral. (Levey, 7/26)
Baker Signs Letter Urging Senate To Set Aside ‘Flawed’ Health Care Proposal
Governor Charlie Baker has signed a letter urging US Senate leaders from both parties to set aside a “flawed” attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which is commonly referred to as Obamacare. Senate Republicans are now trying to pass what has been referred to as a “skinny repeal” of Obamacare, which would likely include changes to the law such as dropping its requirements that people buy insurance and large employers provide health plans to their employees, but no outright repeal. (McDonald, 7/27)