October 25, 2017
Another health care stabilization bill emerges
Senate Finance Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and House Ways and Means chair Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) announced a new ACA stabilization bill yesterday to compete with the bipartisan Alexander-Murray bill. Both bills would fund CSR subsidies, but the Hatch-Brady proposal would also end the ACA’s individual mandate and retroactively exempt businesses from the employer mandate. The alternative stabilization bill comes as conservatives and the White House have expressed concerns about the current version of Alexander-Murray.Insurance and device taxes
Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) have introduced a bill to prolong the delay for an ACA tax on insurers for another two years. House Republicans are looking to find bipartisan support for a similar measure, but need to finalize policy details. Experts believe the delay will be approved by Congress, either in the Senate’s standalone bill or as part of a broader stabilization package.
Many voters oppose administration’s cuts to CSRs
Choosing Wisely does little to curb unnecessary treatments
A analysis published in Health Affairs examining Choosing Wisely found that the campaign has done little to curb unnecessary health care spending. The program was launched by the ABIM Foundation and Consumer Reports in an attempt to raise awareness about wasteful and unnecessary care recommendations and to encourage providers to reexamine their approach. The campaign has provided hundreds of recommendations for curbing spending and has been endorsed by nearly 80 medical societies, but has been stymied by persistent cultural norms and flawed implementation, according to the report. Experts believe around $200 billion is spent on unnecessary or low-value services for patients.