The House on Tuesday voted to repeal ObamaCare’s medical device tax, a provision that members of both parties have criticized as harming innovation.
The House voted 283 to 132 to repeal the 2.3 percent tax on sales of medical devices, with some Democrats joining Republicans to approve the measure. 57 Democrats voted for the measure.
One promising strategy to address these challenges involves the use of automatic, default enrollment into insurance. An automatic enrollment program can improve participation by creating options that require little or no premium payment and that require very little effort from the consumer—apart from providing consent, perhaps through failing to opt out.
We propose an approach aimed at making enrollment into insurance as automatic as possible. This will be a complex undertaking. Nonetheless, once it is up and running, we believe this approach can dramatically improve enrollment into insurance, and thus help to stabilize the market and make it more attractive for all consumers.
We investigate the effect of the Risk Corridors (RC) program on premiums and insurer participation in the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s Health Insurance Marketplaces. The RC program, which was defunded ahead of coverage year 2016, and ended in 2017, is a risk sharing mechanism: it makes payments to insurers whose costs are high relative to their revenue, and collects payments from insurers whose costs are relatively low. We show theoretically that the RC program creates strong incentives to lower premiums for some insurers. Empirically, we find that insurers who claimed RC payments in 2015, before defunding, had greater premium increases in 2017, after the program ended. Insurance markets in which more insurers made RC claims experienced larger premium increases after the program ended, reflecting equilibrium effects. We do not find any evidence that insurers with larger RC claims in 2015 were less likely to participate in the ACA Marketplaces in 2016 and 2017. Overall we find that the end of the RC program significantly contributed to premium growth.
Workers would be allowed to band together to buy health insurance under a proposed rule released Thursday by the Department of Labor.
The proposed rule was issued in response to an executive order by President Trump, which would allow associations of workers to purchase cheaper health insurance that’s not subject to the same rules as plans under ObamaCare.
This analysis includes the impact of the repeal of the individual mandate penalty.
As has been widely reported, both houses of Congress have now voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual shared responsibility penalty, effective for 2019, as part of the 2017 tax reconciliation act. This post discusses first what the repeal does and does not do. Second it discusses the repeal’s possible effects.
As we have long insisted, America’s health care system consists of the worst of both worlds. It amounts to socialism for the beneficiaries, which generates uncontainable demand via third-party paid, cost-averaged pricing; and crony capitalism for the providers, where delivery system cartels of doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, pharma suppliers, medical device makers etc. have implanted themselves deep on K-street and have thereby rigged reimbursement systems for maximum private revenue gain (and minimum system efficiency and competitive discipline).