Business group calls for market-based alternatives to ACA

The latest report from the Committee for Economic Development (CED) calls for sweeping changes to the Affordable Care Act's subsidies, exchanges and mandates--all in the name of providing more diverse insurance offerings to a broader segment of the population.

The business-led policy organization's proposals aim to give the federal government less of a role in healthcare reform while also updating Medicare and employer-sponsored health plans, which it deems the "deficient core" of American healthcare.

The CED's recommendations center on the theme of "letting consumer preference and market forces determine which will predominate" and include the following:

  • More direct competition between private insurance exchanges and the public exchanges.
  • A greater variety of plan choices on individual exchanges, the Small Business Health Options Program exchanges and the employer-based insurance system. The CED recommends following the model of systems that encourage competition, such as the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan and the California Public Employees' Retirement System.
  • The use of refundable tax credits instead of subsidies to cover the cost of health insurance, which the CED sees as way to eliminate the ACA's controversial individual mandate and employer mandate. Unlike the ACA premiums, there would be no income restrictions on the tax credits, the CED said.
  • Letting insurers move across state lines, especially in areas where consumers suffer from a dearth of plan choices.

Public approval of the ACA is at its highest level since 2012, with 43 percent of Americans looking favorably upon the law and 42 percent having an unfavorable opinion, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

In addition, the CED report called Medicare Advantage the "cornerstone" to tackling Medicare cost growth, citing the abundance of plans from which beneficiaries can choose, but said that Medicare reimbursement needs to move away from a fee-for-service model for cost control to take full effect.

For more:
- read the CED report (.pdf)

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