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1 The Obama Health Care Reform Proposal Bill Evans Department of Economics and Econometrics.

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Presentation on theme: "1 The Obama Health Care Reform Proposal Bill Evans Department of Economics and Econometrics."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 The Obama Health Care Reform Proposal Bill Evans Department of Economics and Econometrics

2 2 Three topics in this topic What issues must comprehensive health care reform confront? Outline the Obama proposal Suggest some likely consequences

3 3 Confusing at the moment Campaign proposal but no legislation yet Some parts adopted in stimulus plan HealthCare Dialogue Coalition (18 groups) will release their recommendations Monday But, everything is up in the air as a result of the economy

4 4 Kaiser FF Tracking Survey What two issues you would most like to hear the presidential candidates talk about? IssueJune 07March 08Oct 08 Iraq43%32%13% Health care21%28%12% Immigration18% 7% 2% Economy12%45%62% Gas Prices12%<1% 5% Terrorism7%6% 7%

5 5 What issues must health care reform address? Access Cost (both the level and rate of change) Medicare Tax equity

6 6 Access Uninsurance is a persistent issue Dimensions of the problem (2007) –45.7 million people –9 million children Fraction uninsured increasing –12.6% in 1987 –15.3% in 2007

7 7 What issues must health care reform address? Access Cost (both the level and rate of inflation) Medicare Tax equity

8 8 Expenditures on Medical Care Data for 2007 $2.2 trillion on HC $7,400 per capita 16.2% of GDP Projected, 2018 $4.4 billion $13,100 per capita 20.3% of GDP

9 9 90% more than Canada 145% more than the UK

10 10 Average Annual Premiums Covered Workers, 2008 (KFF) Individual plan –$4,704 total Family plan –$12,690

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12 12 Are high expenditures a bad thing? A key driver of health care costs is technology MRIs/CT scans, angioplasty, anti-psychotropic drugs, hip/knee replacements, neo-natal intensive care, treatments for AIDS, statin drugs (Lipitor) All not available years ago. Now, commonplace

13 13 If you want to cut costs, where do you look? Administrative/overhead –3% in Canada (single payer) –1.5% in Medicare –30% in US system in total Chronic conditions Unnecessary care

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15 15 Per Capita Medicare Spending by Hospital Referral Region, 2006 $9,000 to16,352 (57) 8,000 to <9,000 (79) 7,500 to <8,000 (53) 7,000 to <7,500 (42) 5,310 to <7,000 (75) Not Populated

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18 18 What issues must health care reform address? Access Cost (both the level and rate of inflation) Medicare Tax equity

19 19 Medicare million recipients $432 bill. exp. 3.2% of GDP 16% of fed. budget million recipients 7.6% of GDP 30% of fed. budget

20 20 Future problems Funding –Medicare trust fund –General revenues (75%) Medicare Trustees predict –Costs > revenues by 2011 –Trust fund exhausted by 2019 Declining ratio of workers/enrollees means taxes must be raised

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22 22 What issues must health care reform address? Access Cost (both the level and rate of inflation) Medicare Tax equity

23 23 Tax System Equity EPHI health insurance is a tax-free fringe benefit Greatly reduces the cost to consumers of purchasing insurance Has encouraged the growth of EPHI Most people w/ private insurance get is through their employers –170 million have EPHI

24 24 Inequalities Tax break only available to people who receive insurance from their firm Higher income families have higher tax rates so the tax benefit to them is greater Costs Fed. Govt. over $243 billion/year Regressive tax

25 25 Tax Benefit of EPHI A family w/ $70,000 in income 36.4% marginal tax rate –25% federal –3.4% state (Indiana) –~8% Social Security and Medicare Want to purchase $12,000 policy in AFTER TAX DOLLARS

26 26 Without tax advantage: Receive $18,897 in income Pay 36.4% or $6,897 in taxes $12,000 left over for health insurance Net benefit of tax deduction is $6,897

27 27 Obama/Biden Plan for a Healthy America

28 28 Overview Plan builds out from existing EPHI Tries to fill in the gaps in coverage Heavy emphasis on trying to reduce costs to make health care more affordable Plan has not been formally proposed so some details sketchy

29 29 Access Expansion of SCHIP/Medicaid Must provide HI for children –No enforcement specified Tax credits for small businesses that provide EPHI “Pay or play” for businesses –Must spend minimum fraction of labor costs on HC or pay that amount as a tax (5 or 6%)

30 30 Access (continued) National Health Insurance Exchange –Similar to MA connector –Policies similar to those offered to congress and federal employees –Available to individuals, small businesses, self-employed National Plan –Offered by the Federal government –Designed to provide competition to pvt. ins.

31 31 Controlling Cost $50 billion in IT for health care sector Expand use of preventive services and disease management Increase competition in insurance industry Allow Medicare to bargain Part D prices Catastrophic reinsurance through the Federal government

32 32 Medicare Reduce expenditures for Medicare Advantage Prevention/Disease Management Greater bargaining over health care costs

33 33 Tax equity Subsidies for small business who offer EPHI Some talk on Capital Hill of eliminating tax-preferred status of EPHI –Obama railed against McCain for proposing –White House has signaled they will support but cannot propose

34 34 "And this is your plan, John," he said at one debate. "For the first time in history, you will be taxing people's health-care benefits." Mr. Obama added that the McCain proposal was "radical," "the biggest middle-class tax increase in history," "out of line with our basic values" and that "the choice you'll have is having your employer no longer provide you health care."

35 35 What has been adopted? $19B to encourage health IT investment Additional $10B over next 2 years for NIH $1.1B for effectiveness research (AHRQ) $85B for states to help finance Medicaid

36 36 $25B -- 65% of COBRA for unemployed –9 months –Laid-off between 9/1/2008 and 12/31/2009 –Had insurance –Worked for company >20 employees –Income < $145,000/adult

37 37 Incentives/Fines for EMR Investment

38 38 Proposed: 2010 Budget Downpayment on Reform $630 billion over time years Cost savings –Reduce payments for Medicare Advantage –Increase rebate from pharma. to Medicaid Higher taxes –Reduce tax rate on itemized deductions for families w/ taxable income >$250,000

39 39 Is it enough? Cost estimates –Vary from $1.2 - $1.7 trillion over 10 years Big unknowns –Take up rates on new programs –Subsidy for government insurance –Health care costs

40 40 Estimated impacts – Access (Lewin Group, 2008) Cut number uninsured by 26.6 million –Primarily from expansion of Medicaid/SCHIP Shift 28.7 million onto federal insurance –Companies drop coverage Those on federal rolls will increase by 48.3 million – roughly 50% increase

41 41 Does Preventive Medicine save $? Intuitively appealing – detect disease before it becomes expensive Problem: with low incidence rates, screening is costly and low # of cases detected Cohen et al., NEJM, February 14, 2008 –Reviewed 599 published articles on cost- effectiveness of preventive care

42 42 Our findings suggest that the broad generalizations made by many presidential candidates can be misleading. These statements convey the message that substantial resources can be saved through prevention. Although some preventive measures do save money, the vast majority reviewed in the health economics literature do not.

43 43 Disease Management? Again – intuitively appealing Reduce discretion in use, standardize care, eliminate unnecessary treatment Lots of experience with DM in managed care Has DM reduced costs?

44 44 American Journal of Medical Care (2007) reviewed 317 studies about DM “there was no conclusive evidence that disease management leads to a net reduction of direct medical costs.”

45 45 Health IT/EMR? Great promise –Reduce paper work/time/medical errors/unnecessary diagnostic tests Savings alluded to in plan based on RAND estimates RAND estimates that IT has the potential to reduce costs by $80 billion/year –Only considered studies that showed cost savings –Best case scenario – if it does what is promised

46 46 CBO (2008) In general, investment in EMR is “generally not sufficient to produce significant cost savings” Significant cost savings have “tended to be connected to relatively integrated health care systems” which the US health care system is not

47 47 Summary Will reduce uninsurance but –Will do so by shifting a lot more onto public programs Cost savings are greatly exaggerated –Investing heavily in proposals that to date have not demonstrated much savings Tax equity has been suggested – nothing concrete So far, the administration is punting on Medicare

48 48 My opinion Must control costs first Benefits never decline, they only increase Enacting universal coverage or a massive expansion will generate cost that will never be controlled or cut To control cost – must deal with Medicare first

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50 50 MA Reform: Romney (2006) Most ambitious state reform to date Many features but….. Most striking component: Individual mandate –Required by law to carry insurance

51 51 MA Reform If you require insurance, you need to make it affordable State subsidizes purchases for poor Firms must establish Section 125 plans Established the “Connector”

52 52 Connector Merge of individual and small group market Market maker in insurance Community rating Requirements on what plans must have

53 53 Connector Cheapest individual plans cost about $200/month 40-60% lower than average plan Was achieved primarily by higher cost sharing

54 54 Results from MA -- Access # with insurance increased by 430K –60% went to public plan –Uninsurance rate now only 2.6% –MA far and away had the lowest uninsurance rate going 2006 State underestimated –Number uninsured –Uninsured eligible for subsidized care No one opted for the cheap low cost/high cost sharing option

55 55 Problem State’s contribution is rising much faster than anticipated Minor cost control options Costs are rising very fast –MA now spend 33% more per capita than national average –State has $4b deficit –State costs on health care have increased 42% since 2006

56 56 NYT To make it happen, Democratic lawmakers and Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, made an expedient choice, deferring until another day any serious effort to control the state’s runaway health costs. The day of reckoning has arrived. ….government and industry officials agree that the plan will not be sustainable over the next 5 to 10 years if they do not take significant steps to arrest the growth of health spending.Mitt Romney

57 57 Options "exclude coverage of services of low priority/low value." "limit coverage to services that produce the highest value when considering both clinical effectiveness and cost." "a limitation on the total amount of money available for health care services," i.e., an overall spending cap.

58 58 Exporting MA Plan? Plan is being studied extensively by –Other states –Presidential candidates MA is very unique so it might not travel –Lower uninsurance rate (9%) –Unique fiscal situation that was used to finance the law


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