Op-Ed

Dick Morris: DC, States Passing Great New Ideas for Health Insurance

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Learning valuable lessons from the failure of Obamacare, the Trump administration and a number of states — led by Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin — are adopting changes to health insurance that are long overdue and promise to create viable options for most families.

Advocates of Obamacare have long focused their support on the need to cover people with major pre-existing conditions and to protect against catastrophic illness.

To cover those people, Obamacare premiums have soared, rising by 36 percent last year.

Now, Wisconsin, led by Walker, and some others are passing a key solution — reinsurance.

Under the program, when costs of covering a patient or family rise too high, a special reinsurance program would kick in with heavily subsidized insurance to protect the client from high premiums.

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In Wisconsin, the program would be funded by $150 million from Washington and $50 million from the state government.

This approach would offer a genuine safety net for the very ill without forcing up premiums among everybody else.

At the the other end of the spectrum, those whose medical needs are more modest are about to get relief from high premiums with new regulations being enacted by President Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

Where now, Obamacare policies have to cover fully at least 10 areas of health care, the new regs permit policies to be more narrowly tailored to each customer’s needs.

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As a result, health insurance customers should be able to get lower Obamacare premiums.

This regulatory change embodies the substance of a Senate amendment to the Obamacare legislation proposed by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz during the recent legislative debate.

By protecting those with major bills through state-based reinsurance and lowering premiums for those with fewer medical needs, the new reforms seem to offer a good alternative to Obamacare — bi-partisan reforms that make sense.

Dick Morris is a former adviser to President Bill Clinton as well as a political author, pollster and consultant. His most recent book, “Rogue Spooks,” was written with his wife, Eileen McGann.

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Dick Morris is a former adviser to President Bill Clinton as well as a political author, pollster and consultant. His most recent book, "50 Shades of Politics," was written with his wife, Eileen McGann.




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