At Spring Street Exchange, we’ve been supporting our clients through the healthcare policy uncertainty by staying abreast of the various bills from the US House and Senate and then developing scenarios which allow us to explore their impact. We rely on analysis from various sources and especially read closely the assessment provided by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Often, we need to perform secondary analyses to take this perspective and apply it to a particular region, service line, or line of business.
Although I am studying the impact various healthcare bills I don’t consider myself a policy wonk – I rely on others for the nuance of policy and legal process. I am more of a healthcare insider who is earnestly trying to assess the impact of policy on the industry. When you are knee deep in the bills as I am it is easy to focus on the nuanced difference between them because the impact these differences will have on insurance markets and access to coverage are large.
For instance, one provision of the Cruz Amendment of the Better Care Reconciliation Act would allow insurers to offer products that do not meet ACA benefit requirements as long as they have one product that does. The effect of this would be to shift the benefit designs offered in the market overall, with insurers developing skinnier plans to attract a healthier risk population at a lower price. Whether this provision is passed with has huge implications for those with health conditions, for providers, and for health insurance markets.
However, it can also be valuable to lift-up and look at the various proposals as a group. This view allows us to plan more globally for common threads across scenarios. The attached summary of CBO Analyses of the various 2017 GOP proposals provides a high-level summary to help with timing and tracking of the various bills. Hope it’s helpful for you in your scenario planning.