Julie Hagenbuch: Let’s work to make ACA better
August 28, 2017
Where do we go from here on health insurance? We could discuss other options such as single payer/universal but what we have is ACA. How do we make ACA work for more people?
As Cory Gardner mentioned several times during his recent town halls, the health insurance markets need stabilization. While I am not a huge fan of the insurance companies, they were participants in crafting the ACA, and several agreements with them have been broken.
The markets would be stable if ACA was implemented as designed. Insurance companies were promised a couple of things, in exchange for covering everyone.
One of these is "CSR"s. Cost sharing reductions help lower income participants with out of pocket and deductibles. The current administration's strategy is to decide every month whether to pay these. This uncertainty is the reason the premiums will go up over 20 percent this year. Committing to these CSRs would go a long way to stabilize ACA.
Marco Rubio began the defunding of ACA in 2015 when he added an amendment to restrict the funding of "risk corridors.” The risk corridors were intended to help insurance companies if they ended up with too many new sick people on their rolls and too little cash from premiums to cover their medical bills in the first three years under the health law.
But because of Mr. Rubio's efforts, the administration says it will pay only 13 percent of what insurance companies were expecting to receive. These efforts caused the large increase in current year premiums.
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The elephant in the room is the high cost of health care. The key is to get our population healthy, as this will lower costs in the long run.
ACA requires transparency on pricing but it is still difficult to shop around for the best price. Moving to more in home care as we age could also significantly lower costs.
Let Senators Gardner and Bennett and Representative Tipton know that you want ACA stabilized and improved. We don't want or need junk insurance policies similar to those that were approved by the House and proposed by the Senate. ACA is what we have let's work with it to make it better.