Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Heritage Insider news

The Heritage Insider

What the health care bill does and how it could be better: The House of Representatives passed a health care bill on Thursday. Is it a repeal of Obamacare? Is it replacement? Is it something else? Robert Moffit and Jean Morrow call it a step in the right direction, noting that the bill creates a mechanism for states to get out from under the insurance market regulations that have driven health insurance premiums up for most Americans. “In order to secure a waiver from these federal insurance rules,” they write, “states must establish a high-risk pool for persons with pre-existing conditions” and ensure the premiums will be stable, “or participate in a new federal risk-sharing program designed to secure continuing coverage and market stability.” They continue:
As amended, the House bill rightly focuses on costly health insurance rules, makes historic changes in Medicaid—transforming Medicaid from an open-ended entitlement to a budgeted program—and repeals the national health law’s mandate penalties and its slew of taxes. In fact, the House bill provides for one of the largest tax reductions on record.”
The Senate, note Moffit and Morrow, can make the bill better by dropping the Cadillac Tax on high value plan and instead putting in place a cap on the tax exclusion. That would induce a shift away from the expensive plans that drive excessive health care expenditures. Other improvements would be replacing the Medicaid block grant program with a premium support program that gives Medicaid recipients the same access to private plans their fellow citizens have; and applying the rules on pre-existing conditions that work in the group market to the individual market. [The Daily Signal]