The “Blurred Lines” of Trump’s Health Plan (He Knows You Want It) | Economics21

March 1, 2016

Trump appears to be borrowing some of the language behind a traditional conservative Republican health reform proposal, which involves facilitating competition in health coverage through the sale and purchase of insurance products across states. It’s sometimes referred to as interstate competition or competitive federalism, or even just “consumer choice.” The origins of this proposal have a history of almost 15 years. Some business groups in the small-group market started floating the outlines of this idea in 2001. I wrote the first draft in policy terms at a Cato conference in July 2001, and subsequently published the academic-style version in the Cato Journal the following year. Then-Rep. Ernie Fletcher (R-KY) proposed the first legislative bill on this front in 2002. Subsequent tweaks to those concepts on Capitol Hill were championed by then-Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ), and, in later years, by Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). Presidential candidate Ted Cruz introduced a bill similar to Blackburn’s in the U.S. Senate.

Source: The “Blurred Lines” of Trump’s Health Plan (He Knows You Want It) | Economics21


CRS | Private Health Insurance Market Reforms in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)

February 17, 2016

Private Health Insurance Market Reforms in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Annie L. Mach Analyst in Health Care Financing Bernadette Fernandez Specialist in Health Care Financing February 10, 2016

Full report: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42069.pdf


HEALTH CARE 2.0, Part 1: How to Think About Market Forces in Health Care | Manhattan Institute

January 24, 2016

The Manhattan Institute’s HEALTH CARE 2.0: USHERING IN MEDICINE’S DIGITAL REVOLUTION series delves into the details of how government policy stifles innovation in the delivery of health care. This paper, Part 1, surveys the key economic principles that drive innovative, dynamic sectors of the economy—and explains why American health care does not live up to those principles.

KEY FINDINGS

  • Health care-market distortions have considerably worsened since Kenneth Arrow famously described them in 1963; but in other industries less dominated by misguided government intervention, similar distortions have gradually eroded, thanks to technology, especially the rise of the Internet.
  • The tech world is full of stories of individuals who dropped out of college to design software and hardware that changed the world; but such innovation is far less common in health care—for reasons largely determined by public policy.
  • Each current barrier to a more innovative, competitive, affordable health care system was created for a reason; but the cumulative weight of these policies has been to make U.S. health care less innovative, less patient-centered, and less affordable.

Source: HEALTH CARE 2.0, Part 1: How to Think About Market Forces in Health Care | Manhattan Institute


Health Policy Briefs

November 11, 2015

Five years after the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act took effect, access to equal benefits and qualified providers remains elusive for many insured Americans.

Source: Health Policy Briefs


The Future of Healthcare Reform in the United States, Malani, Schill

November 2, 2015

In the years since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, or, colloquially, Obamacare), most of the discussion about it has been political. But as the politics fade and the law’s many complex provisions take effect, a much more interesting question begins to emerge: How will the law affect the American health care regime in the coming years and decades?

This book brings together fourteen leading scholars from the fields of law, economics, medicine, and public health to answer that question. Taking discipline-specific views, they offer their analyses and predictions for the future of health care reform. By turns thought-provoking, counterintuitive, and even contradictory, the essays together cover the landscape of positions on the PPACA’s prospects. Some see efficiency growth and moderating prices; others fear a strangling bureaucracy and spiraling costs. The result is a deeply informed, richly substantive discussion that will trouble settled positions and lay the groundwork for analysis and assessment as the law’s effects begin to become clear.

Source: The Future of Healthcare Reform in the United States, Malani, Schill


Guaranteed Renewability and Equitable Tax Treatment of Health Insurance | Economics21

October 24, 2015

The fundamental hindrance to achieving the goal of pooling comes down to the following policy conundrum: How can policymakers get younger, healthy adults to essentially cross-subsidize older adults with pre-existing chronic conditions? There are ultimately two separate methods policymakers could adopt to tackle this problem: a set of regulation-oriented arrangements that would compel cross subsidies, and a market-oriented arrangement that would establish voluntary cross subsidies.

This market-oriented arrangement of voluntary cross subsidies would be based on guaranteed renewability of insurance and would require a modification of the tax code to extend the tax break for health insurance beyond the employment-based market into the individual market. If that tax inequity were removed, people would obtain guaranteed-renewable insurance while young and healthy, and the pre-existing condition problem would eventually barely exist. This market-oriented arrangement could be superior to the set of regulatory arrangements that have been either tried or suggested to help people with pre-existing conditions.

Source: Guaranteed Renewability and Equitable Tax Treatment of Health Insurance | Economics21


A King v. Burwell ruling for the plaintiffs may not equal death spirals – AEI

March 31, 2015

Prior to the ACA most states had little or no restrictions on insurance rates taking account of enrollees’ health risks. In the 1990s a small number of states imposed community rating and guaranteed issue in their health insurance markets, as the ACA has done, but without any subsidies, exactly the same situation that will result on the federal exchanges from a plaintiffs’ victory in King v. Burwell. It was widely predicted these states would experience an adverse selection death spiral. A 1999 National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) paper by Thomas Buchmueller and John Dinardo compared New York, which had imposed community rating and guaranteed issue, with neighboring states. They “found no evidence for the conventional wisdom that the imposition of pure community rating tends to an adverse selection death spiral.” Similarly, another 2006 NBER paper by Bradley Herring and Mark V. Pauly compared states with community rating and guaranteed issue to states with no such regulations. They found a small increase in the number of uninsured, but did “not observe a strong positive relationship between risk status and the likelihood of being covered, that would be consistent with so-called death spirals.”

via A King v. Burwell ruling for the plaintiffs may not equal death spirals – AEI.


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