POLICY BRIEFINGS


Hart Health Strategies provides a comprehensive policy briefing on a weekly basis. This in-depth health policy briefing is sent out at the beginning of each week. The health policy briefing recaps the previous week and previews the week ahead. It alerts clients to upcoming congressional hearings, newly introduced bills, regulatory announcements, and implementation activity related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and other health laws.


THIS WEEK'S BRIEFING - FEBRUARY 27, 2017


Draft ACA Repeal/Replace Bill Leaked


A draft of the GOP legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was leaked on Friday. The leaked document is dated February 10, and it is unknown how much Republican’s plans have changed since then. The bill would repeal the core elements of the law, including the individual mandate,
taxes and tax subsidies, and Medicaid expansion, and would create a new health system based on an age-adjusted tax credit of between $2,000 and $4,000. The bill also includes $10 billion annually for state innovation grants, which could be used by states in the formation of high-risk pools or reinsurance programs. The law maintains protections for pre-existing conditions, but plans would be allowed to charge people up to 30 percent more on their premiums if they experience a gap in coverage. Insurers could also charge older Americans five times as much as younger Americans, an increase over the current 3:1 ratio.
Requirements that plans cover certain services would be relaxed, as would restrictions on health savings accounts (HSAs). The bill would institute a percapita cap in the Medicaid program, and includes language that would eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood for one year. While penalties associated with the law’s mandate would be repealed immediately, tax subsidies and Medicaid expansion would remain in place until 2020. After 2020, states could continue covering their expanded Medicaid population, but would no longer receive additional federal funds. The GOP plan would be paid for by taxing the most generous employer-sponsored health insurance plans – those above the 90th percentile of premiums. A markup of repeal and replace legislation before the Energy and Commerce Committee is not likely to happen until at least the week of March 6. Lawmakers return today after a weeklong recess.


Updates from the White House


President Trump stated last week that he expects a health care plan to be released in March, but it is still unclear whether this plan will come from the administration or will be a joint plan formed alongside congressional Republicans. It is also unclear how leadership like Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) or Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would handle a separate submission from the White House. The President will deliver his first address to Congress on Tuesday.



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