Friday, December 11, 2015

qotd: Influential conservative policy wonks present their health care reform proposal

Health Affairs Blog
December 9, 2015
Improving Health And Health Care: An Agenda For Reform
By Joseph Antos, James Capretta, Lanhee Chen, Scott Gottlieb, Yuval
Levin, Thomas Miller, Ramesh Ponnuru, Avik Roy, Gail R. Wilensky, and
David Wilson

We are among those who opposed the ACA because of its heavy emphasis on
federal control.

The plan we present is not confined to replacing the ACA. We propose
major reforms to the tax treatment of employer-sponsored health care,
Medicaid, Medicare, Health Savings Accounts, and other areas of existing
policy. The cumulative effect of this comprehensive plan would be to
decisively reorient health care policy away from bureaucratic regulation
and toward the preferences of patients and consumers.

Overall Principles:

* Government Subsidies Should Come In The Form Of Defined Contribution

* Reform Should Move Power And Control From The Federal Government To
The States And The Empowered Patient-Consumer

* Suppliers Of Medical Services Must Have Greater Freedom To Innovate
And Provide Better Services To Empowered Patient-Consumers

* Reform Must Improve The Federal Fiscal Outlook By Reducing Long-Term
Health Obligations (reduce federal spending)

Replacing The ACA:

* Retain The Tax Preference For Employer-Paid Premiums, With An Upper Limit

* Provide Refundable Tax Credits To Households Without Access To
Employer Coverage

* Allow States To Regulate Insurance Offerings And To Establish
Mechanisms For Consumer Choice Of Plans

* Provide 'Continuous Coverage Protection' For Persons With Preexisting
Conditions (lose guarantee after three months without coverage)

* Allow States To Adopt A Default Enrollment Program

* Allow For A Gradual Transition From ACA Subsidies (no new enrollees
for ACA subsidies or Medicaid)

Reforming Medicaid To Allow More State Control And Consumer Choice:

* Pursue Separate Reform Strategies For Medicaid's Two Distinct Parts
(healthy families vs. disabled and elderly)

* Finance Medicaid With Fixed Federal Funding (block grants)

* Empower The Disabled And Frail Elderly (let the states do it)

A Market-Based Reform Of The Medicare Program:

* Adopt The Premium Support Reform Model (vouchers for private plans)

* Promote Consumer Decision-Making

* Modernize Medicare's Benefits

* Reform Medigap And Other Supplemental Coverage (more cost sharing and
use limited networks)

* Reform Medicare's Payment Policies And Eliminate Unnecessary
Bureaucratic Controls (abolish IPAB and CMMI)

* Gradually Raise The Eligibility Age To 67

Lifelong Use Of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs):

* Provide A One-Time Federal Tax Credit Matching Enrollee Contributions
To HSAs (up to $1000 once in a lifetime)

* Eliminate The Minimum Deductible Requirement (no HDHP required)

* Allow Nontraditional Payment Methods (allow direct-pay, etc.)

* Include HSAs In Medicaid Reform (high-deductible plans for Medicaid)

* Integrate HSAs Into Medicare (high-deductible Medicare Advantage)

* Allow Withdrawals Tax-Free After Age 75 Above A Minimum Balance
(reward savers)

* Allow Tax-Free HSA Rollovers To Designated HSAs At Death

Additional Reforms:

* Reform Federal Funding Of Graduate Medical Education (cutting the
funding substantially)

* Reform The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (defined

* Integrate Veterans Into Mainstream Coverage, And Refocus VA Health Care

* Improve The Transparency Of Useful Cost And Quality Data (stimulate
better decision-making by consumers)

Full report from AEI (70 pages):


Comment by Don McCanne

Why should we be interested in a comprehensive health reform proposal
from representatives of AEI and other conservative/libertarian
organizations? Simply because the authors are prominent in the health
policy arena and have considerable influence in crafting reform
proposals for Republican politicians.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has promised this next year a
comprehensive Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.
Although President Obama would not approve legislation containing many
of the features listed in this proposal, nevertheless, the Republicans
do intend to gain greater control of the political arena, and would hope
to move forward with a Republican administration. It is important to
understand what they would do with our health care system. By having
this knowledge, we can more effectively inform the process.

No comments:

Post a Comment