END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (42 states)

Time: D H M S

EVERYONE WITH THE SLIGHTEST KNOWLEDGE OF HOW HEALTH INSURANCE WORKS: DON'T DO IT, JACKASSES!

Right on top of the American Academy of Actuaries' open letter explaining the extreme danger of the GOP passing their BCRAP bill (particularly the Godawful Cruz-Lee amendment) comes this joint letter sent to GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (well...and Chuck Schumer, since he is the Senate Minority Leader) from both America's Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (h/t to Sahil Kapur and Topher Spiro...not sure who posted it on Twitter first):

Annnnnnnnd, right on top of that is this letter sent to McConnell from several dozen economics professors, including six Nobel-prize winning economists:

Dear Senator McConnell and Senator Schumer:

We write to express our strong opposition to the Senate bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA has provided high quality, affordable health coverage for millions of previously uninsured Americans and helped to slow the growth of health care spending.

Clearly, the ACA is not perfect. Each of us has ways we would like to see the ACA reformed. But the Senate bill, crafted in secret and released without hearings, addresses none of these concerns. Rather, the Senate bill would narrow coverage, and by driving relatively healthy people from the market, raise premiums for those who remain.

Based on our reading of the bill, we believe that the Better Care Reconciliation Act would reduce coverage nearly as much as the House bill that the Congressional Budget Office estimated would take coverage away entirely from 23 million Americans and narrow coverage for millions more. At a time when economic change is making life more difficult for all but the relatively well-to-do, denying people to access health insurance is a giant step in the wrong direction.

The Senate bill will expose millions to increased out-of-pocket health care costs. It would base tax credits on a plan with greatly increased cost sharing and deductibles that could run to $12,000 per family or more. Far from improving Obamacare, the Senate bill would reduce assistance for the millions of people who buy coverage through the state and federal marketplaces. Many now eligible for tax credits would be denied them entirely. States would be allowed to opt out of regulations that allow less healthy people to buy insurance at reasonable rates.

The savings from slashing health subsidies and coverage would go largely to bestowing tax cuts on upper income tax filers. The richest 0.1 percent of tax filers would receive tax cuts averaging over $200,000 per return.

We call on Congress to work on legislation to improve the health delivery system, in general, and The Affordable Care Act, in particular. The goal should be to hold down health costs and increase access to affordable, quality health coverage for all. Unfortunately, the Better Care Reconciliation Act threatens reduced coverage and higher costs for those who continue to have it.

Signed,

  • Henry J. Aaron
    Bruce and Virginia MacLaury Senior Fellow The Brookings Institution
  • Stuart Altman
    Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy Brandeis University
  • Susan Athey
    The Economics of Technology Professor Graduate School of Business Stanford University
  • Barry Bosworth
    Senior Fellow The Brookings Institution
  • Karen Davis
    Eugene and Mildred Lipitz Professor Director, Roger C. Lipitz Center For Integrated Health Care Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Brad DeLong
    Professor of Economics U.C. Berkeley
  • Gary Burtless
    Whitehead Chair in Economic Studies The Brookings Institution
  • Anne Case
    Alexander Stewart 1886 Professor of Economics and Public Affairs Princeton University
  • Amitabh Chandra
    Malcolm Weiner Professor Harvard Kennedy School Harvard University
  • Philip J. Cook
    ITT/Sanford Professor of Public Policy Sanford School of Public Policy Duke University
  • Janet Currie
    Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Policy Affairs Princeton University
  • David Cutler
    Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics Harvard University
  • Leemore Dafny
    MBA Class of 1960 Professor Harvard Kennedy School Harvard Business School
  • Peter Diamond**
    Institute Professor Emeritus M.I.T.
  • Randall P. Ellis
    Professor of Economics Boston University
  • Ezekiel J. Emanuel
    Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor Professor of Health Care Management Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy in the Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania
  • Richard G. Frank
    Margaret T. Morris Professor of Health Economics Department of Health Care Policy Harvard Medical School
  • Martin Gaynor
    E.J. Barone University Professor of Economics and Public Policy Carnegie Mellon University
  • Sherry Glied
  • Dean and Professor of Public Service Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University
  • Claudia Goldin
    Henry Lee Professor of Economics Harvard University
  • Jonathan Gruber
    Ford Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Oliver Hart**
    Professor of Economics Harvard University
  • Vivian Ho
    James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics Rice University
  • Jill R. Horwitz
    Professor of Law UCLA
  • Daniel Kahneman**
  • Professor Emeritus, Woodrow Wilson School Princeton
  • Lawrence Katz
  • Allison Professor of Economics Harvard University
  • Ilyana Kuziemko
  • Professor of Economics, Princeton University
  • Frank Levy
  • Rose Professor Emeritus M.I.T.
  • Peter H. Lindert
  • Distinguished Research Professor of Economics University of California – Davis
  • Eric S. Maskin**
  • Adams University Professor Harvard University
  • Daniel McFadden**
  • Presidential Professor of Health Policy and Economics USC
  • Thomas G. McGuire
    Professor of Health Economics, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School
  • Ellen Meara
    Professor of Health Policy & Clinical Practice Dartmouth College
  • Alan Monheit
    Professor & Chair Department of Health Systems & Policy, Rutgers University School of Public Health
  • Daniel Polsky
    Professor of Medicine and Health Care Management University of Pennsylvania
  • James B. Rebitzer
    Professor of Management, Economics, and Public Policy and Chair of the Markets, Public Policy and Law Department Boston University's Questrom School of Business
  • Michael Reich
    Professor of Economics University of California Berkeley
  • Meredith Rosenthal
    Professor of Health Economics and Policy Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Al Roth**
    Professor of Economics, Stanford Professor Emeritus, Harvard Isabel Sawhill Senior Fellow The Brookings Institution
  • Benjamin D. Sommers
    Associate Professor of Health Policy & Economics Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health / Brigham & Women's Hospital
  • Lawrence Summers
    Charles W. Eliot University Professor Harvard University
  • Katherine Swartz
    Professor, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Paul N. Van de Water
    Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Justin Wolfers
    Professor of Economics and Public Policy, University of Michigan

* The listing of a signer’s affiliation is for identification purposes only and is not an endorsement of this letter by that institution.

** Nobel Laureate in Economics