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Healthcare in the Obama Era

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  1. Healthcare in the Obama Era Presented by Pat Bourne

  2. Agenda • Status of healthcare reform and timing for action • BCBSA strategy

  3. Obama “Leading the Charge” Set principles Proposed $634 B “reserve fund” House Three committees working with Leadership to draft bill Political Update Gearing up for targeted Spring/Summer Committee mark-ups • Senate • Kennedy/Baucus stakeholder meetings • Separate bills likely • Married before floor Goal: Enact Health Care Reform This Year

  4. Congress Readying Bills Now Finance Committee bipartisan process Mark-up: Week of June 11 • HELP Committee: Legislative proposal expected 5/22 • Bipartisan stakeholder meetings continuing • Expect to “marry” bills before Floor Action

  5. Congress Readying Bills Now (cont’d) House/Senate Committee markups: June/July Floor: Action in both chambers before August recess Conference:Planned for September Goal: Enactment this year

  6. Possible Senate Scenarios 70+ Votes Regular Order • Fully bipartisan • Government plan option unlikely • No full regulatory connector • Overall less government intrusion • 51 Votes • Reconciliation • Highly partisan • Byrd rule may prevent extraneous matter • Comprehensive bill difficult • Likely threats: • Medicare buy-in • Government plan • Possible insurance reforms attached to subsidy • Entitlement expansion • 60 Votes • Regular Order • Little bipartisan support • Moderate Ds/Rs are key • Likely compromise on government plan • State connector possible

  7. Major Proposals Priorities: Government Plan, Exchange, Insurance Reforms

  8. BCBSA Strategy • Continue to build on Pathway • Implement comprehensive strategy on: • Government plan • Exchange • Insurance reforms Major focus

  9. Pathway to Covering America Encourage Research on What Works Change Incentives to Promote Better Care Empower Consumers and Providers Promote Health and Wellness Foster Public-Private Coverage Solutions

  10. 2009 BCBSA Strategy • Continue to build on Pathway • Implement comprehensive strategy on: • Government plan • Exchange • Insurance reforms Major focus

  11. Government Plan Proponents urging: • Medicare-like program for everyone as option • Medicare buy-in for 55-64 Why? • Reduce provider costs through “bargaining power” of government plan • Increase competition/lower administrative costs • Some want “single payer”

  12. Government Plan: The Vision Employers and individuals sign-up with exchange and individuals select plan from among government approved options EMPLOYER INDIVIDUAL IND IND IND IND EE EE EE EE EE EE Exchange BCBS United Aetna Kaiser CIGNA Public Plan Government Plan Government Subsidies

  13. Government Plan: BCBSA Position • Support reform meeting President’s objectives • Government-run plan is unnecessary/will be devastating • Most will lose current employer coverage • 118 million shift to government plan overnight (Lewin) • Providers will be underpaid, creating major access issues: long waits, fewer providers, rationing • Needed delivery system reforms will be undermined • Private sector free to innovate with excellent results • Government stifled by political pressures • Government will use built-in advantages and lead to single payer

  14. Momentum Strong for Government Plan House: Expect Medicare-like plan • Leadership/Committee chairs support Senate: Strong push to include in bills • Finance Committee: Looking for “compromise” • Government must negotiate, can’t use Medicare rates • Only triggered if certain conditions met • HELP Committee likely to include • 16 Ds signed “Government Program Essential” letter

  15. Momentum Strong for Government Plan (cont.) • Proponents continue aggressive campaign • Howard Dean/Moveon.org continue outreach • Many reluctant to oppose • Widespread fear of angering President/Ds • Want to wait for actual details • But… • Nelson vocally opposed, poised to lead • Rs and conservatives rallying in opposition • Letter from high profile conservatives; Gingrich/others speaking out • WSJ editorial very strong; Washington Post questions need • Employers opposing15

  16. Couldn’t the Government Plan Negotiate Rates? Medicare experience: Administered pricing quickly followed enactment 1965 1980s-2003 1972 1981 1984 Today • Deficit reduction bills limit increases in provider rates • Medicare enacted • Fees based on private sector usual and customary charges • Administered pricing • MEI limits provider updates • Sec. 223 limits cap Hospital rates at 112% • Hospital cap reduced to 108% • Balance billing limitations enacted • Hospital cost-based reimbursements phase-out • Physician rates: 80% of commercial • Hospital rates: 70% of commercial

  17. Exchange Proponents urging: National/regional insurance exchange to: • Simplify purchasing • Enhance competition • Increase choice • Viewed as key regulatory enabler of health care reform and gateway to government plan

  18. Exchange: BCBSA Position Offer alternative: State Insurance Marts • Federal exchange would: • Increase cost by: • Duplicating administrative functions and, • Turning group market into individual market • Likely to become “Super Regulator” • Invite federal regulation • BCBSA alternative – SIMs, would: • Provide a less costly, less complex, more transparent and faster alternative to a new federal bureaucracy

  19. State Insurance Marts (SIMs) Reaction to date: Highly positive response

  20. Insurance Reforms Proponents urging: • “Guarantee issue” in individual market • Community rating (no health status adjustments) in individual/small group markets • Other (e.g., minimum loss ratios) Why? • Guarantee access • Assure “fair” rating

  21. Insurance Reform: BCBSA Position

  22. Comprehensive Strategies

  23. Insurance Reforms Proponents urging: • “Guarantee issue” in individual market • Community rating (no health status adjustments) in individual/small group markets • Other (e.g., minimum loss ratios) Why? • Guarantee access • Assure “fair” rating

  24. Prognosis: What’s Likely? Major push for comprehensive reform this year • Substantial desire for reform, more organized than during Clinton • Kennedy “legacy” should not be underestimated • BUT, health care reform is complicated and expensive If consensus/$$ not possible, smaller bill(s) very likely • Insurance reforms (GI/CR) • Exchange in small group market • Medicare buy-in 55 to 64 • Comparative effectiveness institute • Pay for performance • Other health plan mandates