Trending News Today: Skinny Repeal May Destabilize Insurance Market Further

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

High-deductible plans were created to lower premiums and healthcare costs, but these plans may force patients to delay care that could improve outcomes and prevent higher costs in the future, according to California Healthline. Yearly deductibles can cost thousands of dollars and cause patients to forego necessary surgeries or treatments to avoid reaching the threshold. Recently proposed bills to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) include provisions to expand the use of health savings accounts for individuals to use along with high-deductible plans, according to the article. Health experts say that this proposal may increase the use of these plans.

Multiple Republicans who did not support previous plans to repeal the ACA have expressed support for a “skinny repeal,” which would overturn the individual and employer mandates and repeal the medical device tax; however, centerists are undecided on the bill, leaving the fate of the bill uncertain, according to Politico. The scaled back approach came shortly after GOP senators rejected a repeal-only bill earlier this week. A challenge facing Republican leaders is explaining why the skinny repeal is more likely to pass compared with approaching the subject of Medicaid reform and other controversial issues, according to the article.

Health policy experts say that the skinny repeal may destabilize the individual insurance market even further, Politico reported. Repealing the individual mandate would remove a major reason why Americans enroll in coverage and may cause fewer healthy people to enroll, according to Politico. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that 16 million less Americans would have health insurance in the next 10 years if the mandate was repealed, according to the article.