Health Reform Policy Update

What guaranteed issue and community rating mean in New York: $9,036 a year for individual coverage and $26,460 for family coverage.

Senate Finance Committee bill online with 1,502 pages: Hillary Clinton’s health care bill was only 1,342 pages.

Heritage: Under the Baucus bill, 90 million Americans will be on Medicaid/SCHIP in 2019.

CMS repeals gag order: Insurers can tell seniors about how Medicare Advantage Plans are going to be gutted.

Hawaii, with its own employer mandate, wants to opt out of health reform.

Comments (9)

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  1. Brian W. says:

    Thanks to the Finance Committee’s keen attention to transparent democracy, they published their bill a week after they voted on it.

    Not only is it 160 pages longer than the 1994 Clinton bill, it has received much less study and scrutiny than anything Hillary Clinton ever proposed.

    In 1994, CBO wrote a 104-page exhaustive document to describe about how the Clinton health plan would affect the economy.

    http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/48xx/doc4882/doc07.pdf

    Among other things, the 1994 report included complicated analysis, distribution tables, and probability judgments. It was very influential in the debate.

    This time around, the drive to pass health reform as soon as possible has left us with a bunch of unanswered questions. By passing the bill a week before it is published, the Finance Committee is sweeping those unanswered questions under the rug.

  2. Joe S. says:

    So if the committee didn’t vote on an actual bill, what did they vote on? A concept?

  3. Ken says:

    Glad to see that the insurance companies are no longer being gagged.

  4. Larry C. says:

    Are we sure the gag has been completely removed?

  5. Nancy says:

    The New York numbers are a real eye opener. As I understand it, there are no commercial carriers left in the individual market in New York.

  6. Bart Ingles says:

    New York has to be close to a worst-case example of the problems related to guaranteed issue and community rating. But it doesn’t seem fair to insinuate that all possible examples of GI and CR would be equally bad. Where individual coverage for someone under 25 in New York is $9,036 a year, it appears that comparable coverage in New Jersey with 3.5:1 age-banding is ‘only’ around $3,000.

    But we all know that guaranteed issue with unrestricted movement in and out of the market causes problems. The above examples only belabor the obvious. The numbers are also skewed because these states have very generous mandated benefits packages, which vary from state to state.

    For a more reasonable examination of the potential of community rating, NCPA should look to a more apples-to-apples comparison. Why not compare examples within a single state? The small business market uses modified community rating, with reasonable limits on guaranteed issue.

    In Texas, small business underwriting appears to be rate-banded at 1.67:1, and of course employer plans are prevented from using health status or sex to set individual rates. This seems to me to be a reasonable example of modified community rating.

    So how do Texas small business rates compare to Texas individual coverage? It would be nice to see a fair apples-to-apples comparison on this blog, even if you still ultimately reject community pricing.

  7. [...] premiums for those who do insure will be much higher than otherwise. We previously reported that in New York’s individual market, premiums are $9,036 for singles and $26,460 for families. Also as previously reported, studies by [...]

  8. [...] the same) have been imposed, insurance becomes more expensive. We previously reported that in New York’s individual market, premiums are $9,036 for singles and $26,460 for families. Also as previously reported, studies by [...]

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