Senate needs to do much better on health care

USPOLITICSHEALTHVOTEDELAY

Last week, Senate GOP leaders released a revised version of their potential healthcare reform bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) of 2017.

Be much more proactive in developing an effective safety net strategy by collaborating with state Medicaid agencies, doubling down on population health efforts, and investing in care coordination and insurance navigation resources. Younger adults and healthy people in the solid middle class may find more agreeable options.

Scott wrote. "The federal government should cut income taxes for Floridians by 30 percent".

To be fair, there are other tweaks in the Senate bill aimed at helping Florida - and winning the support of Sen. More than 25 million women rely on Medicaid and it acts as the country's single largest provider of reproductive health care coverage. If the BCRA were to become law, a person who applies for coverage in the individual market and who can not show that he or she has had 12 months of continuous coverage (defined as having no breaks in coverage longer than 63 days) would face a six-month waiting period before an ACA-compliant plan would be required to take effect. Ted Cruz (R-TX), insurers would be permitted to sell plans that do not comply with Obamacare standards as long as they also offer Obamacare-regulated alternatives.

"As healthy people move to the less-regulated plans, those with significant medical needs will have no choice but to stay in the comprehensive plans, and premiums will skyrocket for people with preexisting conditions", the letter states.

The latest bill includes another $70 billion to help states keep health insurance affordable for older, sicker customers.

"We think it is unworkable", said Justine Handelman, top Washington lobbyist for the BlueCross BlueShield Association.

McConnell's new bill made a major change to tax-sheltered health savings accounts, which was also advocated by Cruz.

But critics said that money might be needed to address another aspect of the bill that would reduce premium subsidies, resulting in higher premiums and deductibles.

But some analysts say McConnell risks undermining workplace coverage.

Changes to pre-existing condition protections remain a big source of contention and could lead to more people being underinsured.

The U.S. was also rated last or close to last in health care access, administrative efficiency, balanced care, and overall health outcomes.

"Allowing individuals to purchase insurance with pre-tax dollars eliminates one of the advantages to employer-provided insurance", said Elizabeth Carpenter of the Avalere Health consulting firm.

When you buy an insurance policy, it usually pays to read the fine print, and that should go double for lawmakers when they consider whether to vote for a piece of legislation that restructures the insurance markets in the United States. Thus, each program under the states' Medicaid programs would face intense competition for more limited funding.

In addition to cuts to Planned Parenthood, the bill would also allow states to opt out of the 10 mandatory essential health services - like access to mental health and substance use disorder services, pediatric services, and maternity care - designated by Obama's Affordable Care Act. Va., a key holdout, said she still has "serious concerns about the Medicaid provisions" that would reduce federal funding of the program for lower-income and vulnerable Americans. As a result, it's estimated Medicaid would cover 15 million fewer people by 2026.

Americans, as users of health services, may also need to change their expectations.

Republican governors don't like the Medicaid cuts, and some have been vocal. But the bill is also facing opposition from children's advocates like pediatricians because almost half of those getting health coverage from children are on Medicaid. However, a number of moderate Republican senators like West Virginia's Shelley Moore Capito and Maine's Susan Collins are troubled its impact on Medicaid funding. "These are people that used to get their treatment in emergency rooms, if they got any treatment at all".

As a conservative talk radio host in SC said recently to me: "No one in our wealthy country should go bankrupt due to their health-care costs".

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