Several States Have Found Ways to Mitigate Obamacare’s Damage To Their Health Insurance Markets

By Grace-Marie Turner and Doug Badger
Forbes, Oct. 3, 2018

Several states have successfully used Obamacare’s Section 1332 waiver authority to begin to revive their non-group health insurance markets by implementing better risk-mitigation strategies. The states provide separate assistance to those with the highest health costs, thereby reducing premiums and increasing enrollment for healthy people driven out of the market by soaring costs. This op-ed summarizes a new paper from the Heritage Foundation by Doug Badger and Ed Haislmaier, “State Innovation: The Key to Affordable Health Care Coverage Choices,” which highlights innovative solutions from the seven states leading the way.

As Obamacare Premiums Continue to Rise, Time to Look at Real Health Care Solutions

By Robert E. Moffit, PhD
Obamacare has wreaked havoc on America’s individual and small group health insurance markets. For the last four years, while lavish taxpayer subsidies insulated low-income people from soaring premiums and deductibles, millions of middle-class Americans in the individual Affordable Care Act coverage markets felt both blasts. The “Health Care Choices Proposal,” developed by a broad range of conservative think tanks, would replace Obamacare’s spending schemes with state block grants to help the poor and the sick to get health coverage. It’s an approach that would empower consumers, revitalize state insurance markets, intensify competition among plans, and lower costs.

Sen. Cassidy: We’re Working on Lowering Prices for Patients

By Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
Modern Healthcare, Sept. 22, 2018

To get health care costs under control, we must restore market forces and equip patients to be involved in their care, writes Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA). That means empowering the doctor-patient relationship, which benefits not just the patient’s health, but also the patient’s pocketbook. Currently, practice, laws and regulations work to keep the power and money surrounding health care decisions in the hands of bureaucrats, lawyers, and lobbyists. That is wrong.

Despite Obamacare, Health Care Spending Is Spiraling out of Control

By Sally Pipes
Washington Examiner, Sept. 21, 2018

Former President Barack Obama promised the ACA would bend “the cost curve and [start] to reduce costs for families, businesses, and government.” But his pledge has gone unfulfilled. Patients and taxpayers are spending record amounts on health care. This year, total health care spending will increase by 5.3%, according to a recent estimate from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. That’s after spending rose by 4.6% last year to total $3.5 trillion.

How Much Does Health Insurance Cost Without A Subsidy?

eHealth Study, Sept 2018

What does health insurance cost without a subsidy? For unsubsidized shoppers, average premiums for individual coverage were $440 a month in 2018, up from $241 in 2014. Premiums for family plans averaged $1,168 a month, compared to $667 in 2014. In 2018, the average annual deductible for individual plans was $4,578 and the average deductible for family plans was $8,803. (The figures are from eHealth’s Health Insurance Price Index based on eHealth shoppers who selected individual or family health insurance plans during the 2018 open enrollment period.)

Trump ‘Better’ at Managing Obamacare Than Obama, Health Secretary Says

By Robert King
Tennessean, Sept. 27, 2018

Obamacare premiums are expected to drop 2% nationally next year, and the total number of insurers on the federal exchange will grow for the first time in four years, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Thursday during remarks in Nashville. Azar credited President Trump for the improving insurance marketplace, saying that Trump had proven “better at managing” Obamacare than the law’s namesake. “It turns out, when you have a president who’s willing to take decisive action, who understands business, who’s willing to work with the private sector, you can find a way to help American patients, even within a failed system like the ACA.”

Health Care Is the Sleeper Issue of 2018

By Karl Rove
Wall Street Journal, Sept. 19, 2018

The Democrats’ most potent national policy issue in the 2018 midterms is health care. The pre-existing-conditions offensive against the GOP is based on its votes to repeal ObamaCare. But the truth is that every Republican in Congress who voted for repeal also voted to require states to provide protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The GOP approach was to let each state figure out how best to accomplish this under a system that worked better than the Affordable Care Act. Republicans trusted leaders in state capitals to do better than Washington for the people of their states.

Congress Can Slash the Cost of Health Care Premiums by as Much as a Third. Here’s How.

By Doug Badger
The Daily Signal, October 3, 2018

A new analysis from The Center for Health and Economy found that recommendations in the Health Care Choices Proposal would reduce premiums for individual coverage by as much as a third. The plan also would modestly reduce the deficit, increase the number of people with private health insurance, and cut Medicaid spending. The proposal, the product of national and state think tanks, policy analysts, and others in the conservative community, embarks on a new path to empower consumers and return authority to the states to provide people with better and more affordable health coverage options. It is built on a foundation of replacing Obamacare entitlements with formula grants to the states and giving states more flexibility in overseeing their health insurance markets.

Real Solutions, Not Empty Promises

By Grace-Marie Turner

Forbes, September 12, 2018

Yes, people with pre-existing conditions should be protected. But, like so many other things with Obamacare, the health overhaul law offers a promise but produces collateral damage in trying to deliver. States have much more experience in overseeing insurance markets, and the Health Policy Consensus Group has developed the Health Care Choices Proposal to provide states with greater flexibility and additional resources to help their citizens, including those with pre-existing additions. The plan would provide dedicated funding so they can help those with pre-existing conditions as well as families who are being hammered by high health costs so both groups can get and keep coverage.

The Facts About the Individual Mandate Repeal and the Increase in Premiums

By Doug Badger
The Daily Signal, July 28, 2018

It turns out sabotage might be overrated. A new study by the Center for American Progress argues Congress’s repeal of the individual mandate and a proposed Trump administration rule that would expand the sale and renewal of short-term policies will have a devastating effect on 2019 premiums. But a closer look at the data shows that’s not the full picture. […]