A huge deductible? Coverage for only one night of hospitalization? For health care advocates, that's not good news. Carriers could offer bare-bones policies that don't offer Obamacare's 10 essential health benefits, including maternity, prescription drug and mental health.
Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) have announced they won't support the Better Care Reconciliation Act, Senate Republicans' plan to replace Obamacare. Sen. But it would also allow insurers to offer plans that don't follow those rules, provided the insurer also sells a plan that complies.
It may sound good in theory - free markets and freedom of choice - and it's an idea that has always been popular with conservatives. Experts say that could weaken the regulations around preexisting conditions.
Driving the healthiest people out of the risk pool - and the sickest people into it - is a surefire way to send costs soaring. "Well, it does. For healthy people".
A version of Texas Sen.
The CBO estimated the original bill would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 22 million by the end of 2026. Leaving aside myriad complexities of insurance markets, ideally it balances out. The traditional idea behind insurance is that the healthy subsidize the sick.
Before Obamacare, states had significant discretion over their individual health insurance markets and many created high-risk pools for people whom insurers turned away. So can individuals on such a plan who are diagnosed with a serious disease like cancer. That's in part because many many Republican senators support the changes, and the hope might be to get moderate senators on board without touching the Medicaid provisions. But they don't do much for Americans with pre-existing conditions. Mark Kirk who's no longer in the Senate.
Cruz, who is attempting to morph from the most hated man in the Senate into a conservative dealmaker, is very pleased with this development.
In a publicly posted letter to Senate leaders, the two groups focused their attention on an amendment that would undermine the Affordable Care Act's protections for people with pre-existing conditions. "There are a lot of people with great needs in this country". When some turned to individual or small-group plans, they found that they had purchased "coverage so riddled with loopholes, limits, exclusions, and gotchas that it won't come close to covering their expenses if they fall seriously ill", the magazine wrote. Premiums for those who need comprehensive coverage would shoot up.
But there were also some consumers who bought lower-cost coverage without understanding the limitations of such plans, which companies and brokers marketed heavily, said Pollitz at the Kaiser Family Foundation. "Millions of people have benefited from the ACA", she said.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Thursday that the inclusion of an amendment into the GOP-backed health care bill makes a bad bill even worse. The bill's insurance tax credits are still created to buy low-end, high-deductible coverage, meaning poorer adults likely won't be able to afford to use the health plans they purchase.
Cruz has fully embraced the narrower goal.
The other market, AHIP said, would be non-compliant plans, which would attract younger, healthier customers due to their lower premiums. Republicans have seized on these high premiums as one of the big flaws in Obamacare, promising that, if given the chance to repeal the law, they would eliminate the costly "mandates" driving them. Hence the skyrocketing premiums under Obamacare.