The Obamacare Markets Are Unsustainable. Here’s How Govs Want to Fix That.

By NTK Staff | 09.01.2017 @8:00am
The Obamacare Markets Are Unsustainable. Here’s How Govs Want to Fix That.

Govs. John Kasich (R-OH), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), and others released a plan on Wednesday that they say would stabilize health insurance markets.

The individual health insurance market under Obamacare is unhealthy. Premiums are rising, choices are thinning, and political leaders have created uncertainty in the health care industry in 2017.

This path is “unsustainable,” writes Govs. John Kasich (R-OH), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), and six other governors in a letter sent Wednesday to the top four congressional leaders in Washington, D.C.

The bipartisan group of governors is calling for a series of mostly short-term, but some long-term, fixes to Obamacare:

  • Fund cost sharing reduction (CSR) payments that subsidize the cost of insurance; without them, premiums will skyrocket and the deficit will rise
  • Put $30 billion in a temporary stability fund “that reduce[s] premiums and limit[s] losses,” and find a way to pay for it that “does not add to the deficit”
  • Let customers with few or no choices purchase the same insurance federal employees have access to
  • Keep the individual mandate as a way to incentivize young, healthy people to purchase insurance, until better alternatives come forth
  • Find more young, healthy people to sign up for insurance, which will create “a virtuous cycle of lower premiums” and “higher enrollment”
  • Give states more flexibility on essential health benefits (EHB), Obamacare regulations, Obamacare mandates, and more
  • Long-term, control health care costs by working with federal and state entities to innovating how public entities pay for health care

The letter is long, wonky, and likely to receive little attention in a media environment that prizes conflict, drama, and coverage out of the White House.

However, it’s notable that Republicans and Democrats from around the country have found some places to agree on Obamacare, the most divisive law passed in America in the last 10 years.

The letter’s co-signers include Govs. Brian Sandoval (R-NV), Tom Wolf (D-PA), Terry McAuliffe (D-VA), John Bel Edwards (D-LA), Steve Bullock (D-MT), and Bill Walker (I-AK).

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