The top healthcare leaders have thrown their weight behind a set of proposals they believe will push the envelope for universal insurance coverage. It has been seen as an endorsement of similar plans offered by congressional Democrats and President Biden to build on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Democrats have found support from various groups consisting of health insurance plans, doctors, hospitals and businesses. It is called a more inclusive policy, with the target here is to include more low-income adults into Medicaid. This would extend the coverage for customers to cover premium costs for ACA plans as well.
- “While we sometimes disagree on important issues in healthcare, we are in total agreement that Americans deserve a stable health care market that provides access to high-quality care and affordable coverage for all,” the groups said in a statement Wednesday announcing their Affordable Coverage Coalition, which includes America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Achieving universal coverage is particularly critical as we strive to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and work to address long-standing inequities in health care access and outcomes,” the coalition said.
- The industry groups wrote in a set of “principles” that they support increasing the size of premium tax credits that help people pay for ACA coverage, and expanding that assistance to more people, including some who don’t qualify now because of income restrictions and younger enrollees who are most likely to go without insurance but whom insurers need to balance their risk pools. For people with income groups higher than $50,000 per year do not qualify for subsidies.
- The groups also said they support automatically enrolling and renewing eligible people for Medicaid and premium-free marketplace plans, boosting outreach and enrollment assistance programs that were cut by the Trump administration and offering more federal funding to incentivize states to expand Medicaid to cover more low-income adults, as allowed under ObamaCare.
- “While the country has made enormous strides in expanding coverage over the past decade, we must close the remaining gaps. Having health coverage means people can get the care they need, when they need it, so they can live healthier, more secure lives,” said Kim Keck, president and CEO of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, a member of the new coalition.
- The coalition also backed subsidizing COBRA subsidies for laid-off workers.