Our colleagues at the Wharton Public Policy Initiative have released a new Issue Brief, The Economic Realities of Replacing the Affordable Care Act, by LDI Senior Fellow Hanming Fang, PhD. In it, Dr. Fang uses a new model of labor and health insurance market dynamics to simulate the long-run effects of the ACA's mechanisms, thus shedding some much-needed light on the repeal-and-replace debate.
In Medical Care Research and Review, Ambar La Forgia and colleagues compare the premiums of the lowest priced 'silver' plans of...
This brief reviews the evidence on how key ACA provisions have affected the growth of health care costs. Coverage expansions produced a predictable jump in health care spending, amidst a slowdown that began a decade ago. Although we have not returned to the double-digit increases of the past, the authors find little evidence that ACA cost containment provisions produced changes necessary to “bend the cost curve.” Cost control will likely play a prominent role in the next round of health reform and will be critical to sustaining coverage gains in the long term.
In the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Brendan Saloner, Daniel Polsky, Karin Rhodes, and colleagues investigate whether new patients can obtain price information for a primary care visit and identify variation across insurance types, offices and geographic areas. Cost-sharing in insurance plans incentivizes patients to shop for lower prices, but can patients obtain price information when scheduling office visits? The authors used a simulated patient methodology in which trained interviewers posed as patients (with different types of insurance) seeking new primary care...
[cross-posted from the Health Cents blog on philly.com]
Just 6% of people under age 65 buy health insurance on the individual market (rather than getting it through their jobs), but the political debate about how to arrange insurance for them is causing great turmoil and has revived discussion of the individual mandate.
One of the many scary trial balloons being floated by the Administration as part of its first 100 days is to abolish enforcement of the individual mandate. That mandate imposes a penalty of $695 per person, or 2.5% of income per family, for people who fail to obtain qualified health insurance. It isn’t much of a penalty because about half of the uninsured can get exemptions and the penalties are small relative to premiums.
In a review of the evidence, the authors find that the ACA had minimal effect on employment, hours of work, and compensation. This brief provides critical perspective on the effects of reforms on labor markets for federal and state policymakers as they consider changing or repealing the law.