As promised, the Trump administration has released a proposed rule to allow short-term health insurance plans that do not conform to all of the Affordable Care Act’s requirements. The Department of Health and Human Services says it’s necessary to give consumers access to more affordable insurance options; many backers of the ACA say it will further undermine already wobbly ACA markets and leave people with inadequate protections in the case of a serious, costly health problem.
President Trump says he wants to encourage the formation of “association health plans” that would better enable small employers to band together to purchase more affordable health insurance in the large-group market. On Jan. 4, the Department of Labor published for public comment a proposed rule for such entities, also known as small business health plans.
What will these health plans, which typically would organize under the umbrella of a trade group or other association, look like? Continue reading →
The House and the Senate both have passed tax bills which have provisions that will deeply affect health care, ranging from the repeal of the individual mandate to repeal of a tax credit meant to help businesses comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Since the bills are not identical, the final legislation must first be negotiated in a conference committee. Not all the provisions will survive, although the final bill most likely will more closely resemble the Senate version, which includes repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. Continue reading →
Source: Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data from the January–March 2017 National Health Interview Survey, September 2017. National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey Early Release Program.For January through March of this year, the rate of Americans who were without health insurance was 8.8 percent, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
Whatever actions Congress and the Trump administration ultimately take to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or in the short term attempt to weaken it, we already know their efforts will affect how many Americans have health insurance. The question now is how much of an effect their efforts will have.
In a report that aligns with predictions by health insurers and groups such as the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday forecast that ending cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies under the Affordable Care Act not only would raise premiums for some low-income Americans, but also increase the federal deficit by $194 billion by 2026.
Congressional Democrats had asked both the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation to estimate the effect of cutting CSRs after this December – as President Trump has threatened – on the federal budget, health insurance coverage, market stability and premiums. Continue reading →