December 3, 2021

Analysis of Walker and Rubio Health Care Plans

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:
Scott Walker’s and Marco Rubio’s Health Care Plans Would Move U.S. In a Free Market Direction

Walker and Rubio Depart from Previous GOP Candidates by Releasing Plans Early, Signaling Health Care Will Be a Central Issue for the Campaigns

Washington, D.C. – “Both Scott Walker’s and Marco Rubio’s health care plans are a very good start,” said Dr. David Hogberg, health care policy analyst at the National Center for Public Policy Research. “On balance, these are excellent plans for moving our health care system in a free market direction.”

He also praised the candidates for releasing their plans early.

“Usually, Republican candidates release their health care plans late in the election cycle, if they release them at all,” he said. “By putting these plans out there more than 14 months before the election, Walker and Rubio show they are willing to make health care a central issue of the campaign.”

Both Walker’s and Rubio’s plans contain elements that will help facilitate a free market in health care, including:Washington, DC –

-A refundable tax credit to purchase health insurance

-Allowing consumers to purchase insurance across state lines

-Expanding health savings accounts (HSAs)

“These are all big steps that will empower Americans to become health care consumers,” said Dr. Hogberg. “These will be important drivers in reducing the cost of health care and health insurance while also improving their quality.”

Dr. Hogberg notes that each plan has important elements that the other does not.

Walker’s plan allows consumers to pool together in associations and offer health insurance to members of the association.

“Americans have the freedom to form associations in most other areas of our economy, and they should have the freedom to do so to purchase health insurance,” said Dr. Hogberg.

Rubio’s plan reforms the employer-based tax exclusion for health insurance by gradually changing it over a decade so that its value is equal to the value of the tax credit.

“The tax exclusion is one of the biggest inefficiencies in our health care system,” said Dr. Hogberg. “However, taking it on can be political risky. Rubio is to be commended for that.”

To help the public better understand what the many conservative/libertarian health care plans contain, the National Center for Public Policy Research has released a publicly accessible spreadsheet that contains all of the plans and summarizes how each one treats the major health care policy issues. This spreadsheet has now been updated to include the plans of Governor Walker and Senator Rubio. To view it, go here:http://goo.gl/y1ALI2

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for free issue alerts here.

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5-Point ObamaCare Repeal Plan Proposed

National Center for Public Policy Research Proposes 5-Point Plan for Achieving Repeal of ObamaCare and Replacing It with a Free-Market Alternative

“First You Win the Argument, Then You Win the Vote”

Washington, DC – Saying Congress needs to be more aggressive about repealing ObamaCare, a Washington D.C. conservative think-tank is proposing a 5-Point Plan to help Members of Congress engage with each other and with the American people to develop an alternative to ObamaCare and get it enacted into law.

“Margaret Thatcher once said, ‘First you win the argument, then you win the vote.’ Republicans need a strategy for winning the argument,” says Dr. David Hogberg, senior fellow and health care policy analyst at the National Center for Public Policy Research.

To that end, the National Center for Public Policy Research proposes a 5-point action plan to help Republicans repeal ObamaCare and replace it with a better system:

1. Sponsor Regular Congressional Hearings. Congress should hold weekly hearings on key health care issues, including mounting problems with ObamaCare and alternatives for more free-market reforms. Hearings on the latter will enable lawmakers and the public to debate free-market alternatives and help give ObamaCare’s critics an opportunity to coalesce around one plan. Hearings on the former will help Members of Congress learn from the ObamaCare experience.

2. Hold Regional Town Hall Meetings. Republicans should hold town hall meetings across the nation, soliciting advice from Americans on what works and hat doesn’t work about our current health care system and learn from the public what it believes would help our health care system perform better. These should be high profile meetings structured to allow for maximum public input.

3. Appoint Congressional Working Groups. Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should appoint health care working groups consisting of Members of Congress/Senators they trust who are committed to ObamaCare’s repeal. Each member would be a “go to” expert on a specific aspect of health care reform and act as a sounding board for the leadership. These working groups also would coordinate and participate in such activities as the Town Hall meetings and would regularly engage with the news media.

4. Put Health Care Bills on the President’s Desk. Nothing gets a policy conversation started faster in Washington than sending a bill to the President’s desk. Bills in this instance can include (1) bills that repeal parts of ObamaCare, such as the individual mandate or the so-called ‘Cadillac tax,’ or (2) bills that make legal and permanent some of President Obama’s unconstitutional unilateral actions, like exempting businesses between 50-99 employees from ObamaCare’s employer mandate.

5. Be Transparent. ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber said, “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage… call it the stupidity of the American voter… but basically that was really, really critical in getting [ObamaCare] to pass.” Americans should not have to wait for reform to pass to find out what’s in it.

“Transparency is the enemy of bad legislation. The hearings, town hall meetings, working groups and public debates of this 5-Point Plan will help insure that the process of evaluating, repealing and replacing ObamaCare is done in a transparent manner, which in turn will help insure that the next health care policy approved by Congress is one the American people are happy to live with,” said Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research.

“Republicans in Congress need to educate the American people about the benefits of free-market health care reform,” says Dr. Hogberg. “We need to repeal ObamaCare and replace it, and 2017 represents our next best opportunity. But it will be a heavy lift getting there.”

Margaret Thatcher offered up another wise saying the GOP must never forget: “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”

?”Some Republican elected officials may be tired of fighting ObamaCare, but health care reform is literally a life-or-death matter, and one Americans must continue to work on until we get it right,” added Ridenour.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for free issue alerts here.

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Black Conservatives React to U.S. Supreme Court Decision

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Black Conservatives React to U.S. Supreme Court Decision for Use of “Disparate Impact” in Administration of Fair Housing Act

WASHINGTON, DC — Legal and policy experts with the Project 21 black leadership network are available for comment on today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows perceived group racial disparities to be used as a trigger for enforcement of the Fair Housing Act.

“When those statistical differences alone are used as proof of discrimination, freedom and liberty are lost; but worse the constitutional protections provided to every American as an individual are lost too,” said Project 21 co-chairman Horace Cooper, a legal commentator who taught constitutional law at George Mason University and is a former leadership staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives.

“It’s a shame that the majority of justices are willing to allow allegations of discrimination in housing to be painted using a broad brush — sometimes by those who may not even be among the aggrieved — rather than finding and cutting out true instances of abuse with scalpel-like precision,” said Archbishop Council Nedd II, Ph.D., author of multiple books and rector of St. Alban’s Anglican Church in Pine Grove Mills, PA. “The Fair Housing Act was meant to be a scalpel, but the Court has now decided otherwise to our peril. Society is served better by a system that removes specific problems rather than pitting groups against each other.”

On appeal from the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the case of Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, et al. v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc, addressed a festering legal problem regarding the Fair Housing Act’s use to address accusations of disparate racial impact instead of enforcing the law on a case-by-case, as-needed basis as was argued by its supporters when it was debated in Congress.

Specific to this case, the Inclusive Communities Project (ICP) claimed the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, a state agency, violated the federal Fair Housing Act by allocating housing tax credits to developers in a manner that they alleged broadly kept minorities in low-income minority-majority neighborhoods rather than allowing access to housing opportunities in wealthier majority-white communities in the Dallas metropolitan area. ICP charged the department’s tax credit distribution policy creates a disparate impact on black recipients of such credits as a class rather than addressing individual instances of alleged abuse.

Project 21 joined a legal brief submitted to the Court that asked the justices to specifically define the legal scope of the Fair Housing Act. In the brief, it was argued that the Act was written “to apply solely to disparate treatment, not acts having disparate impact on protected classes” and that the U.S. Supreme Court must “consider the threshold question of whether disparate impact claims are even cognizable under the Fair Housing Act” since “disparate impact claims do not depend on the intent of the action or policy.”

This legal brief joined by Project 21 was written and submitted to the Court by the Pacific Legal Foundation and was also joined by the Center for Equal Opportunity, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Cato Institute, Individual Rights Foundation and Reason Foundation.

In 2014 and 2015, Project 21 members have already been interviewed or cited by the media over 2,600 times — including TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fox News Channel, Westwood One, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio and 50,000-watt talk radio stations such as KOA-Denver, WHO-Des Moines, WJR-Detroit, WBZ-Boston and KDKA-Pittsburgh — on issues that include civil rights, entitlement programs, the economy, race preferences, education and corporate social responsibility. Project 21 has participated in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding race preferences and voting rights and defended voter ID laws at the United Nations. Its volunteer members come from all walks of life and are not salaried political professionals.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).

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[It’s By Design You Know!] ObamaCare Ruling a Blow to the Rule of Law

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Supreme Court Ruling in King v. Burwell Means Americans Will Have to Wait Longer for a Free-Market Health Care System

ObamaCare Is Unsustainable as Exchanges Will Eventually Devolve into a Death Spiral

Ruling Also a Blow to the Rule of Law

Washington, DC – “The Supreme Court’s ruling in King v. Burwell means Americans will have to wait longer for greater liberty in their health care system, said Dr. David Hogberg, senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research.

“The Court has had two chances to stand up for freedom and against ObamaCare and has blown them both,” Dr. Hogberg said. “This won’t change the fight for health care freedom. It will just take more time to move toward a free-market based health care system.”

A ruling in favor of the plaintiffs would have been a great opportunity to start replacing ObamaCare with free-market based policies. Rather, Americans will have to suffer the problems of ObamaCare for the foreseeable future.

Dr. Hogberg notes that the ObamaCare exchanges are already exhibiting signs of a death spiral, where insurance premiums rise precipitously, causing young and healthy people to drop their insurance. This renders the “risk pool” older and sicker, causing premiums to rise again, and the process repeats.

“We’re seeing loads of insurers ask for big premium hikes, at least 20% and in many case much higher,” said Dr. Hogberg. He recently examined this in a National Policy Analysis entitled “ObamaCare Premium Hikes for 2016–Ignore Them at Your Own Risk.”

“In the end, the exchanges are not sustainable, and free-market based reform of our health care system will be necessary. Today’s Court ruling only delays that,” said Dr. Hogberg.

In the longer term, Congress must adopt policies that repeal ObamaCare and replace it with policies that promote liberty. NCPPR provides an easy-to-access spreadsheet at http://goo.gl/y1ALI2 that summarizes a dozen plans from conservative and libertarian think-tanks and Congressional Republicans offering free-market alternatives to ObamaCare. The spreadsheet explains how each plan treats vital health care policy issues such as tax credits, pre-existing conditions, Medicaid and Health Savings Accounts.

“There are a lot of great ideas out there, from the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute to Rep. Tom Price and the Republican Study Committee,” said Dr. Hogberg. “Unfortunately, most of the media has ignored them, so most Americans are unaware that free-market alternatives to ObamaCare exist.”

While the ruling isn’t a fatal blow to achieving health care freedom, it is a serious blow to the rule of law.

“From here on out, presidents and the bureaucracy can apply the law however they like, even if the law says different,” said Dr. Hogberg. “As long as they can plausibly claim that Congress intended for the law to say something different, presidents and the bureaucracy will win every time before the Supreme Court.”

David Hogberg is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research. He is author of the forthcoming book Medicare’s Victims: How the U.S. Government’s Largest Health Care Program Harms Patients and Impairs Physicians.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for free issue alerts here.

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The Patient Freedom Act: A Roadmap for ObamaCare Opponents if Plaintiffs Win in King v. Burwell

Patient Freedom Act Moves Us Toward A Free-Market Health Care System

In Addition to Good Policy, the Bill is also Politically Savvy

Washington, DC – “The Patient Freedom Act provides a very good way forward should the plaintiffs win in King v. Burwell,” says Dr. David Hogberg, senior fellow for health care policy at the National Center for Public Policy Research.

King v. Burwell is the major ObamaCare case currently at the Supreme Court. An opinion in the case will be handed down before the end of June.

“Initially the big focus will be on the roughly seven million people in about 37 states who would lose their subsidies,” says Dr. Hogberg. “The Patient Freedom Act provides temporary relief for them and then starts moving our health care system in the direction of free markets.”

The Patient Freedom Act is advanced by Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Representative Ralph Abraham (R-LA). It has nine cosponsors, including Senate leaders Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and John Cornyn (R-TX).

In his new National Policy Analysis paper entitled “The Patient Freedom Act: A Roadmap for ObamaCare Opponents if Plaintiffs Win in King v. Burwell,” Dr. Hogberg explains how the Patient Freedom Act is both good policy and good politics.

It turns the subsidies back on through 2015. The next year, states have three choices: 1) do nothing; 2) establish a state exchange; or 3) opt in to the Patient Freedom Act.

The third option gives states access to the same amount of money they would have received under ObamaCare for exchange subsidies and the Medicaid expansion. But, under the Patient Freedom Act, states would have to give the money directly to individuals and families in the form of a “health savings deposit.”

“That gives far more freedom to the individual,” said Dr. Hogberg. “He can save the health savings deposit and use it to purchase care directly or he can purchase health insurance.

“Further, insurers will be able to offer and consumers will be able to buy insurance free of ObamaCare’s costly mandates. Want to purchase a policy without maternity coverage? Insurers will now be able to offer that option.”

This bill is also politically savvy, says Dr. Hogberg. “It gives Congressional Democrats ‘middle ground’ while making Republicans look reasonable compared to President Obama, who will almost surely dig in his heals and insist on nothing more than turning the subsidies back on.”

Democrats who are wary of ObamaCare’s electoral impact will have a way to say they voted for a bill that gives states more options, yet still allows them to save face with their base by saying they voted for a bill that lets states keep an ObamaCare exchange if they wish.

For Republicans, it allows them to help the people who lost subsidies quickly, while also saying that they are giving states options other than ObamaCare.

“If Republicans insist that they are the ones open to discussion, that they want to give states alternatives–in other words, if they play their cards right — they could use it to portray Obama as the one who is stubborn and unwilling to come to the table to fix health care policy,” says Dr. Hogberg.

David Hogberg is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research. He is author of the forthcoming book Medicare’s Victims: How the U.S. Government’s Largest Health Care Program Harms Patients and Impairs Physicians.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for free issue alerts here.

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ObamaCare Premium Hikes for 2016–Ignore Them at Your Own Risk

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Leftists Do Americans a Disservice When They Say the Hikes Are “No Big Deal”

Data Shows Problem is Worsening and ObamaCare Exchanges Face a Death Spiral

Washington, DC – “Leftists who claim that anticipated premium hikes on the ObamaCare exchanges are nothing to worry about are doing Americans a disservice,” says Dr. David Hogberg, senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research.

In fact, he says, the rate hikes likely signal a “death spiral” for ObamaCare.

In a new National Policy Analysis paper entitled “ObamaCare Premium Hikes for 2016–Ignore Them at Your Own Risk,” Dr. Hogberg examines in depth the requested premium increases recently released at “Rate Review” by HealthCare.Gov. He argues that the rate hikes are the kind that is likely the beginning of the death spiral for the ObamaCare exchanges. Yet leftists are dismissive of this.

“Kevin Drum of Mother Jones dismissed the rate hikes, saying that we’ve seen this all before,” said Dr. Hogberg. “Well, we have seen it before, but the data for 2016 shows that it is getting worse.”

Dr. Hogberg’s analysis shows that there are many more double-digit premium hikes requested for 2016 than there were for 2015. And, as the table below shows, those premium hikes are larger than they were in 2015:

NCPPRChart

“The increases for 2016 will impact consumer behavior,” says Dr. Hogberg. “Some of the healthiest people facing these hikes will probably flee to cheaper insurers. That will leave insurers with big rate hikes in 2016 with an even older and sicker risk pool, forcing them to hike rates even more for 2017.”

Over time, one of two things will happen to such insurers. Some of their sicker customers will find the constant rate hikes too much and will seek cheaper insurance. Alternatively, the insurers will sustain big losses and eventually exit the market. Their sicker customers will then have little option but to take their business to less costly insurers.

“When that happens, those cheaper insurers won’t be cheap for very long,” says Dr. Hogberg. “The younger and healthier will then have no place to go to avoid higher insurance prices other than to leave the ObamaCare exchanges entirely. And when that happens, the death spiral will be in full gear.”

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

The National Center for Public Policy Research was founded in 1982. Sign up for free issue alerts here.

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ObamaCare Death Spiral is on the Horizon

Leftists Claiming ObamaCare Critics Were Wrong About Death Spiral Jumped the Gun

Exorbitant Premium Hikes By Some Insurers for 2016 Show Insurance “Risk Pools” Do Not Have Enough Young and Healthy People

Washington, DC – Leftist claims that an ObamaCare death spiral won’t happen are premature, argues a new National Policy Analysis paper from the National Center for Public Policy Research.

“Pundits like Paul Krugman saw the tiny premium increases for the second year of the exchange and concluded that predictions of the death spiral were wrong,” says Dr. David Hogberg, senior fellow at the National Center and author of the paper. “But there is no rule saying that because a death spiral doesn’t happen in the first year it isn’t going to happen.”

In “The ObamaCare Death Spiral Rears Its Head,” Dr. Hogberg points out that ObamaCare’s “risk corridors” encouraged insurance companies to keep premium increases low in the first year.

“The risk corridors were going to use taxpayer money to cover a larger portion of the losses than any insurer incurred on the exchanges,” says Dr. Hogberg. “That would relieve them of any need to hike premiums in order to cover larger than expected medical claims.”

But in last year’s budget Republicans stopped any taxpayer money from being used for the risk corridors.

“Now that insurers don’t have access to that money, they have little alternative but to hike premiums if they incurred losses on the exchanges,” says Hogberg. “And given some of the premium hikes they are requesting for 2016, it’s pretty obvious that they had big losses.”

For example:

• Five insurance companies on Oregon’s exchange are proposing average premium increases ranging from 25.6 percent to 52 percent.

• In Tennessee, Blue Cross/Blue Shield is asking for an average increase of 36.6 percent and Community Health Alliance is proposing a 32.6 percent increase.

• In New Mexico, Health Care Service Corp. is requesting a premium hike of 51.6 percent.

“Once premiums go up like this, you’ll see younger and healthier people begin to drop out, leaving the insurance risk pool older and sicker and even more expensive to cover. Then premiums will increase again, and the process repeats,” says Dr. Hogberg. “It’s off to the races for the death spiral. With laws like community rating and guaranteed issue governing the exchanges, this was all but inevitable.”

David Hogberg is a Senior Fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research. His forthcoming book, Medicare’s Victims: How the U.S. Government’s Largest Health Care Program Harms Patients and Impairs Physicians, will be available July 6.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

The National Center for Public Policy Research was founded in 1982. Sign up for free issue alerts here.

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Humana Asked to Explain Continued Support for ObamaCare

Free Market Group Asks Major Health Insurer for to Explain Continued Support for ObamaCare

As U.S. Supreme Court Considers Case that May Unravel ObamaCare, National Center for Public Policy Presents Humana Board with a Baker’s Dozen of Free-Market Health Care Reform Plans

Left-Wing Narrative that Conservatives Have No Viable Health Care Alternatives to ObamaCare is False

Atlanta, GA/Washington, DC – At today’s annual meeting of Humana shareholders in Atlanta, Georgia, the National Center for Public Policy Research questioned the health insurance giant’s continued support for ObamaCare in the face of new legal challenges and, rebutting the left-wing narrative that conservatives have to alternatives to ObamaCare, presented the company’s leaders with a baker’s dozen of free-market health care alternatives to ObamaCare.

“The basic message that I took away from Humana’s CEO Bruce Broussard is that since ObamaCare is the law of the land, the company must work with the parameters of that law. Well, Jim Crow, prohibition and the alien and sedition acts were all once laws too, but America rightly disposed of those relics,” said National Center Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, Esq.

At the meeting, Danhof pointed out that the U.S. Supreme Court recently heard a case that could unravel ObamaCare and provide an opportunity for market-based reforms that control costs while improving patient care. He stated:

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in King v. Burwell, a case that could potentially alter the landscape of the American health care system and provide an opportunity for true market-oriented reforms. As written, the Affordable Care Act was intended to force states to set up health insurance exchanges. Many chose not to. Contrary to the rule of law, the Obama Administration patched this gap with a regulatory fix so that individuals in states without exchanges could purchase insurance on the federal exchange and receive taxpayer-provided subsidies.

Humana fully backed the Administration’s potentially unlawful action.

Humana is a member of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) an industry trade association that wrote an amicus brief defending the Affordable Care Act and its current subsidy-laden structure.

Danhof also asked:

[Given] the opportunity to unravel the extremely unpopular ObamaCare law that, in your own words, fails to address the root of America’s health care problems, why did Humana choose to support ObamaCare’s current structure in the King case? And, if the plaintiffs prevail in the case, would you be willing to consider working with conservative and free market leaders to enact market-based patient-centric solutions such as those outlined in the plans I am presenting you with today

Humana’s CEO, Bruce D. Broussard, responded:

I think at Humana, we have one fundamental belief and that is that individuals have the right to receive health care. And we as an organization are supporting that in multiple different ways, I think as you look at where we have our businesses – Medicare Advantage, Part B, are two great examples of that. We have stated on many occasions that any law, existing or in-the-future laws are not perfect and I think some of the details around the existing specific exchanges need to have some changes. We are always look[ing] for input from various different organizations to do that, we provide our input and we continue to want to make it better. And so our goal is to improve it, and improve it in a way that continues to improve choice, affordability and access to care.

Danhof’s full question, as prepared for delivery, is available here and an audio recording of the exchange between Danhof and Broussard is available here.

“Broussard’s statement that health care is a right is an odd one. It certainly isn’t provided for in the Constitution – and millions of Americans make rational decisions to either self-insure or refuse to purchase health insurance. Furthermore, he runs an insurance company. If health care is a right, is he saying his company must pay for every procedure from every person who wants coverage? From cradle to grave?,” asked Danhof.

“Broussard defended AHIP’s amicus brief,” noted Danhof. “That brief did not address the core issue in King v. Burwell, which is whether the ObamaCare law allows for paying a subsidy for anyone who purchased health insurance from anything other than a state-constructed exchange. That’s the only issue on the table. Yet AHIP submitted a brief that mentions nothing about this from a truly legal perspective, but instead is really a curious list of policy preferences submitted with an appeal that the Court uphold ObamaCare’s current structure.”

“After the meeting, Broussard and other company executives approached me and did seem very interested in reviewing the market-based plans that I presented. No matter how the Court rules in the King case, I am hopeful that Humana will learn from its past mistakes and begin to work with conservatives and libertarians towards cost-saving, patient-centric health care solutions.”

“Humana and AHIP have tremendous clout to move the needle on health care policy discussions. It shouldn’t be solely up to conservative and free-market organizations such as the National Center for Public Policy Research to fight for the market-based health care system that can best serve the needs of the American public. Industry could be a force for good, and it is choosing not to be, which is regrettable.”

Danhof provided each Humana board member with a copy of “If Plaintiffs Prevail in King v. Burwell, Conservatives and Libertarians Have Many Health Care Reform Options Ready to Help People who Lose ObamaCare Subsidies,” a National Policy Analysis paper authored by the National Center’s senior fellow for health care policy, David Hogberg, Ph.D .

Danhof also provided each board member with a copy of a Google document detailing the parameters of each of 13 market-based reform plans.

As Dr. Hogberg explained in a press release announcing his paper, “[t]he political left is trying to scare people by saying that the political right has no plan to help those people if they lose their subsidies. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

“It is possible that Humana and other health insurers continue to support ObamaCare because the Administration has been quick to extend favors to large health insurers as the American people face fines and, in many instances, dramatically increased health care costs under the ACA,” said Danhof.

As written, ObamaCare provides a taxpayer-funded bailout to the insurance industry under various risk adjustment provisions. Humana may reportedly reap $450 million from these provisions. At last year’s Humana shareholder meeting, the National Center asked Humana’s CEO to reject this taxpayer bailout and he immediately declined. As it turns out, at that time, the health insurance industry was busy working hand-in-hand with the Obama White House to take even more taxpayer money.

Last July, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform issued a report showing how health insurance executives and lobbyists worked closely with senior Obama Administration advisor Valarie Jarrett to increase this taxpayer-funded health insurance bailout.

At the time, Danhof commented on the importance on not only calling out the Obama Administration, but also corporate America for its role in the ills of the Affordable Care Act:

By exposing the industry and applying pressure on companies who willingly take taxpayer bailouts, the reputational risk to the likes of Aetna and Humana may start to outweigh the taxpayer largess.

The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform report clearly shows that the Obama Administration appears more than willing to do the bidding of the health insurance industry. This means is vital to cut the snake off at its head before it can request even more taxpayer bailouts.

“If the plaintiffs prevail in the King case, conservatives and libertarians stand ready with comprehensive free-market health care reform plans. In the meantime, insurance industry leaders need to be held accountable for their role in the continuing failure that is ObamaCare,” said Danhof. “The Free Enterprise Project will do just that.”

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market corporate activist group. In 2014, Free Enterprise Project representatives participated in 52 shareholder meetings advancing free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers rights and many other important public policy issues.

Today’s Humana meeting marks the sixth shareholder meeting for the National Center in 2015.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

The National Center for Public Policy Research was founded in 1982. Sign up for free issue alerts here.

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This Week Congress May Pass Bill that Pays Medicare Doctors More if They Avoid Sickest Patients

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Are Republicans and Democrats Creating a Mini-Death Panel for Medicare in the “Bipartisan” Doc Fix Bill?

New “Merit-Based Incentive Payment” System is Eerily Similar to Independent Payment Advisory Board

Sickest Medicare Patients Likely to Suffer Under IPAB-Like Payment System

Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACR) Restructures Medicare’s Payments So Doctors Have Incentives to Avoid the Sickest Patients

Washington, DC – Congress is set to establish an IPAB-Like payment system in Medicare, argues a new National Policy Analysis paper from the National Center for Public Policy Research.

“Medicare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board has never gotten off the ground, thanks in part to the work of conservatives and libertarians,” says Dr. David Hogberg, senior fellow at the National Center. “Now a coalition of politicians, including many Republicans, are on the verge of passing a bill that will introduce a payment system that is consistent with IPAB’s mission, incentive structure, and likely outcomes.”

In “Medicare Doc Fix Bill is IPAB-Lite,” Dr. Hogberg points out that the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MARC) re-structures Medicare’s payment system so that physicians will have incentives to avoid treating the sickest patients.

“MACR is supposed to repeal Medicare’s unworkable Sustainable Growth Rate,” says Dr. Hogberg. “Fine. But why use it to do the business of the highly unpopular IPAB?”

Dr. Hogberg points out that the new payment system, the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), grades physicians based on how well physicians’ patients score on quality measures and how many medical resources physicians use to treat patients. Physicians will either receive bonuses or penalties based on how well they score. It is easier for physicians to receive a high grade and, thus, receive a bonus under MIPS with only moderately ill patients since such patients will score well on quality measures and require fewer treatment resources.

By contrast, sicker patients will score poorly on quality measures. Treating them will require more resources. A sicker caseload likely means a physician will fare poorly under MIPS and see his Medicare fees cut.

In short, the sickest Medicare patients will have a harder time finding physicians who will treat them thanks to MIPS.

“MIPS is exactly the sort of proposal you would expect out of IPAB,” said Dr. Hogberg. “Its ostensible purpose is to improve quality and cut costs. Its likely outcome is that it will harm the sickest patients.

“This is what happens when an unaccountable group of people pay no cost if the decisions they make are wrong. That’s the set of incentives that board members of IPAB would face. MIPS is similar. It will be run by unaccountable bureaucrats at the Centers for the Medicare and Medicaid Services with advice from professional medical organizations. Neither will pay a cost – such as a loss of employment – if the decisions they make about MIPS are wrong, harming patients. That’s a recipe for bad outcomes.”

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If Plaintiffs Prevail in King v. Burwell, There’s a Dozen Free-Market Alternatives to ObamaCare

Not So Fast, Liberal Media: There are a Dozen Free-Market Alternatives to ObamaCare

If Plaintiffs Prevail in King v. Burwell, Conservatives and Libertarians Have Many Health Care Reform Options from Which Congress Can Choose

All Proposals Would Help People who Lose Subsidies They Improperly Received from Obama Administration Under ObamaCare

Media Claims That Political Right Has Developed No Plans To Replace ObamaCare Are Nonsense

Washington, DC – As the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments March 4 in King v. Burwell, the National Center for Public Policy Research announces the release of a spreadsheet detailing the many health care reform plans that have been developed by conservatives and libertarians as possible alternatives to ObamaCare.

If the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell succeed, millions of people who purchased their health insurance via the federal ObamaCare exchanges will lose their taxpayer-supplied subsidies. Each of these dozen plans offers them a promising alternative.

“The political left is trying to scare people by saying that the political right has no plan to help those people if they lose their subsidies,” says Dr. David Hogberg, health care policy analyst at the National Center. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

A new National Center study by Dr. Hogberg includes an easy-to-access spreadsheet at http://goo.gl/y1ALI2 that summarizes a dozen plans from conservative and libertarian think-tanks and Congressional Republicans offering free-market alternatives to ObamaCare. The spreadsheet explains how each plan treats vital health care policy issues such as tax credits, pre-existing conditions, Medicaid and Health Savings Accounts.

“There are a lot of great ideas out there, from the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute to Rep. Tom Price and the Republican Study Committee,” said Dr. Hogberg. “Unfortunately, most of the media has ignored them, so most Americans are unaware that free-market alternatives to ObamaCare exist.”

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known colloquially as ObamaCare, states that only people enrolled in state-based exchanges are eligible to receive taxpayer-paid subsidies to help them pay for their health insurance premiums. Despite this, the Obama Administration has paid subsidies to people who purchased insurance on the federal exchange as well. King v. Burwell challenges the Obama Administration’s practice of allowing subsidies to flow to federal exchanges.

“King v. Burwell could give Congress a big opportunity to move the nation away from the disaster that is ObamaCare and toward a free-market health care system that would make health care and health insurance more affordable for everyone,” says Dr. Hogberg. “And as the dozen plans show, there are ways to do it that will help people on the federal exchanges who could lose subsidies.”

To review the dozen free-market alternatives to ObamaCare spreadsheet, please visit http://goo.gl/y1ALI2 and for a review of the terms used in the spreadsheet, please visit http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA670.html.

The National Center for Public Policy Research was founded in 1982. Sign up for free issue alerts here and go here to make a tax-deductible contribution to help us fight for liberty.

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