Health Reform

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Data Note: Prescription Drugs and Older Adults

This data note explores the attitudes and experiences of older adults, ages 65 and up, when it comes to prescription drugs and related policy proposals being discussed. Experiences across different demographic groups are explored, such as household income and health status.

The Democratic Debates Suffer from a Nasty Case of Plan-itis

In The Washington Post op-ed “The Democratic Debates Suffer from a Nasty Case of Plan-itis,” Drew Altman says the primary debates are not serving voters well by focusing on details of candidates’ health care plans rather than the fundamental differences between them.

KFF Health Tracking Poll – July 2019: The Future of the ACA and Possible Changes to the Current System, Preview of Priorities Heading Into 2nd Democratic Debate

This month’s KFF Health Tracking Poll explores public opinion towards a government-administered public option, and finds that attitudes can change after hearing common arguments. The poll also examines the public’s views toward Medicare-for-all and the Affordable Care Act, as well as the top issues for Democrats ahead of the second round of presidential debates.

State Actions to Improve the Affordability of Health Insurance in the Individual Market

A number of states have taken steps to provide consumers with more affordable coverage options in the individual market, including the marketplaces. Some states are implementing strategies that lower premiums by building on, and increasing the stability of the individual market, while other states are expanding the availability of lower cost coverage sold outside the marketplaces that does not comply with ACA standards—an approach that could increase marketplace premiums further. This brief examines these different approaches and discusses the implications of state policy choices.

How Many Employers Could Be Affected by the High-Cost Plan Tax

The high cost plan tax (HCPT) sometimes referred to as the Cadillac tax, is an excise tax on the cost of employer health benefit exceeding certain threshold. The HCPT provides a powerful incentive to control health plans costs over time, whether through efficiency gains or shifts in costs to workers. While many employers do not expect that the tax will take effect in 2022, others are already amending their health programs in anticipation. We estimate if the tax takes effect in 2022, 21% will be subject to the tax, increasing to 37% by 2030 unless firms reduce costs. Larger shares would be affected when counting workers’ voluntary contributions to Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

Uwe Reinhardt’s New Book Priced Out: His Health Policy Ideas in Today’s Debates

Dr. Uwe Reinhardt is a giant in the health policy field who advised policymakers and influenced debates about the nation’s health system before his passing in 2017. His recently released last book, Priced Out: The Ethics and Economics of Health Care, completed by his wife and longtime collaborator Tsung-Mei (May) Cheng gives…