Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The ACA (Obama Care) Still Under GOP Pressure Since 2010

GOP's Main Law Firm Helping Them Dismantle and Repeal ACA

The headlines leading up to this update on the ACA (Obama-care) is from here and here:

GOP plans to eliminate ACA employer mandate and revamp 
Cadillac tax 

Introduction: The GOP will be delighted about this story as they continue with their dream to dismantle or repeal the ACA – since day one – that story is here from Vox.com.

In recent months, some large health insurance plans have quit Obama care, including, most notably, Aetna and United Healthcare. Those exits have raised short-term concerns that the Obama-care marketplaces will have very little competition 2017.

Impact: One in four healthcare.gov counties will have just one insurance plan on the marketplace next year. But it is also true there are areas (mostly those that are urban, with large populations) where the marketplaces remain quite competitive. The level of Obama care competition, in 2017, will vary hugely from place to place. 

Beyond next year, there are now long-term worries about whether Obama care can transform the country’s insurance markets as supporters had hoped. The law was meant to be the beginning of America’s transition to a new health care system — one where consumers rather than large companies would buy their own health insurance. In the early 2010’s, economists would speculate that big companies would drop their workers onto the marketplace rather than remain saddled with rising premium costs.

The marketplace failures to attract a robust group of health plans to many areas suggest it will be quite difficult for Obamacare’s insurance expansion to deliver on that vision. Companies haven’t shown any interest in moving workers to the marketplaces. They’re still using benefit packages as a way to attract top employees.

What is Obama care for if it’s not a major transformation of the health care system? Most experts think it will become like other safety-net programs we know, offering limited services to a predominantly low-income population. The plans sold on the marketplace now tend to be inexpensive, but offer a relatively small choice of doctors and hospitals. A former Obama official calls this the “Medicaid-ization” of Obama care. (Odd word to use to say the least)…!!!
Whether you view this as a bad outcome for Obama care likely depends on what policy goals you consider important. The health care law has undoubtedly driven America’s uninsured rate to an all-time low. Twenty million more people have health insurance because of Obama care.

Two key points at this stage of this development:

(1)  If you’re someone who cares about expanding coverage, this is a big win, but it's still true that the law is a far cry from what health wonks envisioned just a few years ago when they saw the health care marketplaces reshaping the industry.

(2)  If your key priority with Obama care was building a more consumer centric insurance marketplace, then the law is quite clearly falling short — and possibly on the path to failure.  

Stay tuned. Thanks for stopping by.

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