February 15, 2019

In This Issue
Fast Facts
Coalition Counters Medicare-for-All Week of Action
NAHU Submits Comments on Updates to HIPAA and HITECH Rules
Hearings Continue on Pre-Existing Conditions and Drug Pricing
State Spotlight: California Seeks to Reinstate Individual Mandate, Expand Subsidies for Middle Class
NAHU’s Healthcare Happy Hour: Know Before You Go
HUPAC Roundup: Planning for Next Steps in a National Emergency
What We’re Reading
Tools
E-mail the Editor
Visit the NAHU Website
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Coalition Counters Medicare-for-All Week of Action
Proponents of Medicare-for-All spent this week lobbying lawmakers on Capitol Hill and spreading their message nationwide as part of a week of action. NAHU and the Partnership for America's Health Care Future strongly oppose these efforts, and used this as an opportunity to counter their message, promote employer-sponsored health coverage and encourage lawmakers to support policies that will ensure Americans maintain choice in their healthcare coverage. NAHU will continue our counter-messaging on single-payer and Medicare for All during Capitol Conference, adding to the thousands of messages that NAHU members have already sent to lawmakers as part of our Operation Shout from last week.

Legislation was announced this week in the House and Senate in the Medicare-for-All campaign that some are calling "Medicare for More." Representatives Brian Higgins (D-NY), John Larson (D-CT), Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Peter Welch (D-VT) announced plans to introduce the Medicare Buy-In and Health Care Stabilization Act. The legislation would allow those aged 50-64 to buy into Medicare. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced similar legislation and were joined by 17 Democratic co-sponsors. These bills join a growing list of proposals that are expected to be introduced this session, including the more comprehensive Medicare-for-All bills expected by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).

In response to this legislation, the Partnership issued a statement noting that these proposals move the U.S. towards a one-size-fits-all healthcare system that is wrong for America. The statement argues that these efforts, regardless if it is Medicare for All, Medicare buy-in, single-payer or a public option, would have dramatically negative consequences for the 90% of Americans who already have coverage, including the more than 180 million Americans who receive coverage through their employer. It called for building upon what is working and fix what is broken in our current system, rather than upending the high level of choice and control over doctors and treatments currently afforded by the healthcare system.

The Partnership also sent a letter to Congressional leadership echoing our message on the importance of preserving the successful aspects of the current system and improving upon what isn’t successful. The letter noted the challenges faced in terms of access and cost, particularly in rural America where access is inequitable and burdensome, and where costs can be a financial burden for families. We promoted that the average business already contributes more than 70% of the cost of health insurance for its employees, Americans have more choice and control of their doctors, treatments and coverage here than anywhere else in the world, survive the most prevalent illnesses, including cancers, more often than people in most every other country in the world, and those with pre-existing conditions cannot be charged more or be denied coverage. We stressed our willingness to work with lawmakers to identify solutions that would build upon these successes rather than upending the coverage for millions of Americans to implement a new healthcare system.

NAHU is committed to ensuring that every American has access to affordable, quality health coverage. We believe that the free market and public programs can bring down the cost of care and expand access to high-quality care for every American and that instead of considering single-payer healthcare proposals, Congress should focus on bringing costs down for everyone, no matter where they get their insurance. As a member of the Partnership, NAHU is actively advocating on behalf of your clients and the private health insurance market, and we will continue to advocate on the important role of health insurance agents, brokers, and consultants in providing valued guidance to understanding the choices available in the private market.
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