[WATCH] Healthcare Roundup: Updates on Medicare for All and Association Health Plans, and a Bipartisan Price Transparency Bill

Members of the Ameriflex team recently made a trip to Capitol Hill to speak with Congress about healthcare reform. In this post, we’ll break down some of the latest updates from the Hill, as well as key takeaways from our conversations with members of Congress.

Medicare for All

In February, the first Medicare for All bill was introduced by House Democrats. The bill seeks to expand Medicare and eliminate deductibles, copays, and premiums. Since then, there have been several new versions of what the bill may look like. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has yet to give her full endorsement of the plan, which has an estimated price tag of $30 trillion dollars. As the ultimate gatekeeper of these new bills, Pelosi is unlikely to move them forward in their current form without an explanation of where the money to pay for these plans would come from.

Association Health Plans

A federal judge in Washington DC recently invalidated two key elements of the Trump Administration’s rule on Association Health Plans (AHP). The administration issued the AHP rules with the intent to allow small businesses and sole proprietors to band together to establish group health plans. The judge concluded that AHPs were the Trump Administration’s way of circumventing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Sources out of DC say the administration intends to appeal this decision and allow for the AHP rule to remain in place while the appeal plays out.

Bipartisan Price Transparency

One thing that everyone on Capitol Hill agrees on is that healthcare costs are rising for families in all states every day. Some people are left deciding between paying for a prescription or a visit to their doctor. Both Democrats and Republicans agreed that the source of this problem may be the Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). PBMs shun price transparency and play a large role in determining the prices that people pay at the pharmacy counter.

To provide more transparency around drug pricing, Democrats and Republicans introduced a bill called the Prescription Drug Transparency Act. The Trump Administration has even proposed eliminating rebates for PBMs altogether. No matter what happens next, everyone on the Hill is talking about price transparency daily, and that’s a very good thing for Americans.

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