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Right, wrong ways to fix the ACA

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Harris Meyer writes in Modern Healthcare about right and wrong ways to fix the Affordable Care Act.

Experts have ideas about what can be done to stabilize the ACA’s individual insurance markets and enable states to better control Medicaid costs. These include steps to encourage more young, healthy people to sign up for insurance, while discouraging people from enrolling only when they need medical care, then dropping coverage.

“But experts also have emphatic ideas about what not to do, including using reckless rhetoric about letting the insurance markets collapse, and making piecemeal changes without carefully considering corollary effects on the complex, inter-related healthcare system.”

“One target for the would-be bipartisan reform camp is the ACA’s taxes on health insurance premiums, medical devices, high-value employer health plans and branded prescription drugs. It’s easy to imagine Republicans and Democrats, backed by a wide range of eager healthcare stakeholder groups, uniting to repeal some or all of those taxes, which they argue increase premiums and medical costs.

“Those levies, however, provide funding for the ACA’s coverage and benefit expansions. Once you pull one thread of the ACA’s financing, the whole ball of yarn could unravel, because every interest group would demand its fair share of the returned booty. Then the hospital industry likely would insist on a return of its contribution, in the form of repealing the law’s Medicare payment cuts.”

To read Mr. Meyer’s article, please hit this link.

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