Home / General / If the label reads Republican health care market stabilization, the box will not contain market stabilization

If the label reads Republican health care market stabilization, the box will not contain market stabilization

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CDC - Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, January–September 2016
CDC – Early release of estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, January–September 2016

That’s the kind of certainty we can expect for the next four years.

The Trump administration released a final rule on Thursday aimed at stabilizing the Affordable Care Act marketplaces.

The final version of the rule is largely unchanged from the proposed rule, which the administration released in February.

In a statement announcing the final rule, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma emphasized that the tweaked regulations are not an endorsement of the ACA.

“While these steps will help stabilize the individual and small group markets, they are not a long-term cure for the problems that the Affordable Care Act has created in our healthcare system,” she said.

People are avoiding ruinous debt and illness and enjoying better lives though improved access to health care! Health care providers, including hospitals, have more paying clients! Communities are benefiting from healthier members! And worst of all, billionaires are being deprived of additional tax breaks!

Perhaps slashing the enrollment period will hold back the horror of healthier Americans.

First, we are changing the dates for open enrollment in the individual markets for the benefit year starting January 1, 2018, from November 1, 2017 through January 31, 2018 (the previously established open enrollment period for 2018), to extend from November 1 through December 15, 2017.

I hope politicians and organizations that support health care access have plans to advertise the enrollment period, because the current HHS has a vested interest in low enrollment numbers.

In other bad news, AHIP is OK with most of the final rule.

For its part, major trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans appreciates changes in the final rule such as tightening up rules for special enrollment periods, greater flexibility in product and benefit design and simplified administrative processes, spokeswoman Kristine Grow wrote in an emailed statement.

The good news: AHIP, is not a fan of Dick a l’Orange’s cunning plan to torch subsidies collect underpants force Democrats to make a deal pro???fi???t??? +++Redo from start+++

“However, there is still too much instability and uncertainty in this market,” she wrote. “Most urgently, health plans and the consumers they serve need to know that funding for cost-sharing reduction subsidies will continue uninterrupted.”

AHIP is one of eight organizations that co-signed a letter to tRump that spells out the consequences of his attempt to play Let’s Make a Deal with no contestants.

  • Choices for consumers will be more limited. If reliable funding for CSRs is not provided, it may impact plan participation, which would leave individuals without coverage options.
  • Premiums for 2018 and beyond will be higher. Analysts estimate that loss of CSR funding alone would increase premiums for all consumers – both on and off the exchange – by at least 15 percent. Higher premium rates could drive out of the market those middle-income individuals who are not eligible for tax credits.
  • If more people are uninsured, providers will experience more uncompensated care which will further strain their ability to meet the needs of their communities and will raise costs for everyone, including employers who sponsor group health plans for their employees.
  • Hardworking taxpayers will pay more, as premiums grow and tax credits for low-income families increase, than if CSRs are funded.
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