IT'S OFFICIAL: Everyone* Agrees: Trump's #ShortAssPlans Suck.
*(OK, 95%+, anyway)
It isn't often that virtually everyone across the entire healthcare field agrees on anything, and yet here we are. Via Noam Levey of the L.A. Times:
More than 95% of healthcare groups that have commented on President Trump’s effort to weaken Obama-era health insurance rules criticized or outright opposed the proposals, according to a Times review of thousands of official comment letters filed with federal agencies.
The extraordinary one-sided outpouring came from more than 300 patient and consumer advocates, physician and nurse organizations and trade groups representing hospitals, clinics and health insurers across the country, the review found.
Kris Haltmeyer, vice president of health policy and analysis at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Assn., said he couldn’t recall a similar show of opposition in his more than 22 years at the trade group, which represents Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans and is among the organizations that have expressed serious reservations about the administration’s proposed regulations.
“This seems to be a pretty overwhelming statement of concern,” Haltmeyer said.
The article goes on...
State insurance regulators from both political parties have also warned that the administration’s proposals could destabilize insurance markets, raise premiums for sick Americans and open the door to insurance fraud.
And dozens of industry leaders and other experts have called on the administration to rethink moves to scale back consumer protections enacted through the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare.
“Basically anybody who knows anything about healthcare is opposed to these proposals,” said Sandy Praeger, a former Republican state insurance regulator in Kansas and onetime president of the National Assn. of Insurance Commissioners. “It’s amazing.”
...Altogether, more than 95% — or 266 of 279 — of the healthcare groups that filed comments about the proposed association health plan regulation expressed serious concern or opposed it, the Times analysis found.
And more than 98% — or 335 of 340 — of the healthcare groups that commented on the proposal to loosen restrictions on short-term health plans criticized it, in many cases warning that the rule could gravely hurt sick patients.
...and on with more examples of how widespread and nearly unanimous the opposition to expansion of "short-term" and "association" health plans is:
...Among the groups were virtually every leading patient advocate in the county, including the American Lung Assn., the American Heart Assn., the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the March of Dimes, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Susan G. Komen, AARP and the advocacy arm of the American Cancer Society.
Not a single group representing patients, physicians, nurses or hospitals voiced support in the public comments for the two Trump administration proposals.
...Officials from 25 states — including insurance regulators, attorneys general and insurance marketplace directors — also submitted comments. Most were highly critical, with the exception of insurance officials from six states who welcomed one or both of the administration proposals.
In short: Trump's #ShortAssPlans scheme sucks, which is, of course, exactly why he's doing it.