Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Rethink "Repeal and Replace" and Consumer Friendly Obamacare Fixes - Two Op-Eds in USA Today

I have no doubt Republicans will insist on proposing their own complex plan to reform the health insurance system that will include repealing and replacing Obamacare.

But I think it is going to get them into more political trouble than it's worth.

Here's the first of my two of op-eds in Thursday's USA Today: Rethink "Repeal and Replace"

Of course that begs a question, Just what should we do to make health insurance reform politically and financially viable?

Proposals the Republicans are now considering will have no chance of getting by a Presidential veto––even if they can muster 60 votes in the Senate––so long as Obama is President. Even if the Supreme Court takes away insurance subsidies in the state exchanges I doubt this President and this Congress can agree on anything.

But in 2017, it will be a different matter. I really do expect the new President, Democratic or Republican, as well as the new Congress, will be anxious to move on past this long and tedious health care debate to other important issues.

Whoever wins the 2017 elections, I have no doubt the consensus will be that health insurance reform will need lots of reforming. And, the only way that will happen is when one political party is able to bring lots of members of the other party on board.

Democrats might think Obamacare will survive intact. It won't. Five years later it has failed to garner the support they thought it would.

Republicans might think they can do a unilateral conservative health insurance reform in 2017––just like the Democrats rammed their version through in 2010. They won't. The country has had enough of that.

So, what would fundamental changes look like that could gain bipartisan support, be politically attractive, and financially sustainable?

Here is my second op-ed in Thursday's USA Today: Consumer-Friendly Obamacare Fixes

Recent Post: Republicans Considering Proposing High-Risk Pools––Health Insurance Ghettos

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Will Tax Season Be Obamacare's Next Big Challenge? Is There Really an Individual Mandate?

Will tax-filing season be the next reason for consumers to complain about the new health law? Come tax time, will the Obama administration really enforce the individual health insurance mandate?

The IRS is out with a 21-page publication––Publication 5187––describing what taxpayers need to know about Obamacare in order to file their 2014 taxes.

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Single-Payer Health Insurance Failure in Vermont

For 25 years I've been saying that I wished a little state like Vermont would implement a single-payer Canadian-style health insurance system––"Medicare For All." My argument has always been that such a small and limited experiment would give us the opportunity to see the ideological arguments for such a system play out in the face of fiscal reality and the stakeholders fighting it out in the political arena over who would get the money. The rest of the country would be able to learn a lot from it.

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