If not the ACA, then what? Think tank offers alternative

Proposal would create premium-support system for Medicare

Topics: Health Policy, Market Trends, Strategy, Payer and Regulatory Policy, Medicare, Reimbursement, Finance, Medicaid

December 11, 2012

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) on Monday released a 59-page blueprint that its author says would serve as a replacement to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) if opponents succeed in repealing the law.

The paper promotes a market-based overhaul of health care entitlement programs and changes to health insurance regulations. Under the plan, Medicare would be converted into a premium-support system and Medicaid would be transformed into a block-grant system.

Similar plans to alter Medicare and Medicaid were included in House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) House-approved fiscal year 2013 budget proposal.

Thomas Miller—author of the AEI report—wrote that the plans "boil down to providing better incentives and information resources to help us live within our financial means while improving our health." A market-based approach would "handle these tasks effectively and nimbly," Miller added.

According to The Hill's "Healthwatch," the AEI report assumes that efforts to repeal the ACA will be successful after President Obama leaves office in four years. Miller argues that state health officials will continue to face difficulties implementing the law and public opinion polls indicate that U.S. residents dislike certain provisions, which would boost future efforts to repeal the law (Viebeck, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 12/10).

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