Can Clinton's health insurance plans really work?

By Annette M. Boyle

Even if a Democrat wins the White House, the candidate would have little chance of implementing his or her plans unless the party controls both the House and Senate, argues an article in the National Journal.

In recent weeks, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have announced ambitious healthcare policy proposals.

As president, Clinton could implement her proposals to build on the Affordable Care Act and expand payments for bundled care packages and value-based care by executive action. Changes in cost-sharing protections and disclosure requirements could also move forward without congressional approval, as could restrictions on industry consolidation, the publication noted.

But key components of her plan, such as controlling prescription drug costs or shifting costs to insurers through caps on payments, would require legislation--and a Democratic majority in both House and Senate, according to the article.

Control of one house might enable a President Clinton or a President Sanders to implement more modest changes in drug costs, through enabling Medicare to negotiate prices or encouraging more generics, for instance.

While Republicans are unlikely to support price controls on pharmaceuticals, there are some "changes in how the federal government would purchase drugs, information, lessen times on patents--there's things that they might find that they could agree on," Robert Blendon, an associate dean at Harvard School of Public Health, told the publication.

Republican plans to repeal ACA would need 60 votes in the Senate and unification around a single plan.

To learn more:
- here's the article