Council for Affordable Health Coverage’s Policy Recommendations for ACA Repeal and Replace
Broad-based coalition releases white paper arguing for short-term market stabilization solutions and long-term cost containment.
WASHINGTON, DC (February 1, 2017) — Today, the Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) — a coalition of employers, biopharmaceutical companies, insurers, brokers, agents, patient groups, and physician organizations — released a white paper advocating for competition and consumer choice amidst ACA repeal and replace efforts.
“The Affordable Care Act corrected market imbalances and reduced the number of uninsured Americans to historic lows — but its tendency toward overregulation led to double-digit premium hikes.” said CAHC President Joel White. “Despite the fact that health costs rose four times faster than wages under President Obama, health care costs and their effect on the American family are often absent from reform dialogue. They can’t be. Proactively coupling ACA replacement efforts with policies that increase value, choice, access, and competition will lower American health care costs.”
ACA shortcomings have led insurers to exit the exchanges, leaving consumers with an extremely unbalanced risk pool and fewer health plan options. The resulting exodus of healthy consumers is raising costs across the marketplace.
CAHC’s comprehensive policy recommendations, advise the new Congress and Administration to stabilize markets, cultivate healthy risk pools, empower consumers, reduce regulatory burdens, enable state flexibility, and support the employer market.
“Repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act opens a world of possibility to correct the law’s truly unaffordable components — and even offers opportunities for bipartisanship,” said Katie Allen, executive director of CAHC. “But it’s imperative that new legislation balance the market and protect consumers straightaway.”
In the wake of imminent health care reform from President Trump and Republican congressional representatives, CAHC’s policy proposal aims to guide the U.S. healthcare market to a sustainable, more affordable solution.
CAHC President’s Blog: A Post-Election Update
This week, I spoke at the Press Club at the National Consumers League conference on the election and its impact on health care access. On my panel were NCL, AHIP, SEIU, PhRMA and National Partnership for Women and Families. (Click here to view the slides). That same day, I spoke to a group of strange bedfellows who came together to discuss the post-election environment.
For most of the rest of the week, I spoke to Committee and other Congressional staff and Members of Congress about the impact of the election on the issues we all care deeply about. What struck me was – regardless of whether the person was politically left, center, or right – everyone was searching for what the election meant for our country. Almost everyone viewed the political and policy horizon with uncertainty. Who will be deciding my issue? Can this or that provision be repealed through regulations? What does the lame duck hold?
To the extent the President-Elect’s agenda is known, his priorities on a range of issues important to business (particularly the health care industry) are not classically that of the ideological right.
What is clear, is that Obamacare will be modified – first repealed, then replaced with a plan that seeks to lower costs and improve access. Will it improve the coverage numbers? Your guess is as good as mine, but the answer is likely “no.” It doesn’t seem Republicans are ready to spend $1 trillion or more to cover as many people as Obamacare. Consider, however, that about 40 cents of every dollar is “wasted” on care that does little to improve a patient’s health (prescribing antibiotics for a viral infection) or that actually harms the patient (over-exposure to multiple x-rays). There should be a way to wring some excess costs out of the system and improve coverage numbers.
On Monday, we met with several CBO analysts to discuss this very issue. We are hopeful that in the coming debate over Obamacare, CAHC will play a major role in directing the solutions that will simultaneously lower costs, improve access and expand coverage. We have already started pulling ideas together. We are excited that you’re with us in this effort.
-Joel White, President
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