2017 Project’s Alternative to Obamacare Gets a Boost

Real Healthcare Reform by from The Weekly Standard, September 8, 2014

2017 Project executive director Jeffrey Anderson issued a memorandum this morning reporting that the nonpartisan Center for Health & Economy has “scored” the group’s alternative to Obamacare. THE WEEKLY STANDARD readers are familiar with the broad case for the alternative (see here and here), which would repeal Obamacare in full, offer a tax credit to anyone who buys health insurance in the individual market, deal with the issue of preexisting conditions through commonsense regulations and the use of state-run high-risk pools, and provide opportunities and incentives to shop for value. The scoring of the plan makes the case even more powerful.

Here’s some of the good news from Anderson’s memo, which reports these findings from the Center for Health & Economy:

·         The 2017 Project’s Alternative would save $1.13 trillion in federal spending versus Obamacare from 2014 through 2023.

·         Six million more Americans would have private health insurance under the Alternative than under Obamacare.

·         Under the Alternative, premiums would decrease in the individual market “in all plan categories for both single and family coverage,” with reductions ranging from 4 to 25 percent.

·         Provider access—“access to desired physicians and facilities”—in the individual market would increase by 19 percent in the first year of the Alternative and by 57 percent as of 2023.

·         Provider access in the employer-based market would increase by 4 percent.

·         Obamacare would cover 249 million people, while the Alternative—without imposing an individual or employer mandate—would cover 243 million, thereby leaving 38 million uninsured under Obamacare (13 percent of the population) versus 44 million under the Alternative (15 percent of the population)—with all of Obamacare’s additional coverage coming from increasing the Medicaid rolls.

·         The Alternative wouldn’t needlessly disrupt the employer-based market—149 million people would have employer-based insurance in 2015 (the year before the Alternative would take effect), and the same number would have it in 2023 (the last year of scoring).

See H&E’s full scoring here.

As Anderson sums up: ” The 2017 Project’s Alternative would not only repeal Obamacare; it would also fix what the federal government had already broken in our health-care system before Obamacare was passed.  In doing so, it would lower costs, secure liberty, and make sure that any American who wants to buy health insurance would be able to do so.  It would beat Obamacare in nearly every particular—on fiscal prudence, affordability of premiums, choice of policies, access to doctors, and freedom from government control and coercion.  And by offering genuine reform, it would pave the way to full repeal.”

© 2014 Weekly Standard LLC. Reprinted with permission.