ACHP Media Monitoring Report: May 25, 2017

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14 million more uninsured under House health care bill in 2018
The House health care bill will increase the number of uninsured by 14 million in 2018 and 23 million over 10 years, according to the CBO score released yesterday. The analysis also finds the plan would lower premium costs for already healthy consumers, but significantly raises costs for sicker and older Americans. In fact, it would leave as many as one-sixth of Americans living in states where older and sicker people might have to pay much more for their health care or be unable to purchase insurance at all. The bill would cut spending by $119 billion over the next 10 years – $32 billion less than the previous version of the bill.

Senate Republicans had already decided to write their own health care plan, and many reiterated that after the CBO score was released. While the Senate dislikes the House bill, they have not proposed an alternative, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will not commit to a timeline for releasing a plan. Senators remain divided over a number of issues, especially how to reform Medicaid.

ACHP released a statement expressing concern about the millions of Americans that would lose coverage under the House bill.

Insurance premiums doubled over past four years
An HHS report released Tuesday finds health insurance premiums for individuals have more than doubled since 2013. Many health policy experts note benefit packages have expanded during that time, making price comparison unreasonable. The average cost for a policy on Healthcare.gov grew from $232 in 2013 to $476 in 2017.

Instability forcing insurers to consider withdrawing from ACA
Due to the uncertain future of cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies, Anthem is still determining whether or not it will participate in the individual marketplace in 2018. The insurer is the largest provider of individual policies offered through the ACA exchanges. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City has announced plans to withdraw from the marketplace, raising the prospect that large portions of Missouri may not be covered by an exchange insurer.

California’s single-payer health care plan would cost $400 billion
A state analysis finds that the single-payer health care plan being considered by the state of California would cost $400 billion. The plan would replace employer run programs and existing state programs. While existing spending on Medicaid and other state programs would be diverted to the single-payer system, additional revenue would need to be raised through a payroll tax increase. California would be the first state to have a single-payer system if the plan is enacted.