What Hillary Clinton wants to change about the ACA

Plans to target high-deductible plans, high-cost drugs

Hillary Clinton says that while she strongly supports the Affordable Care Act (ACA), she will propose improvements to the law as she campaigns to be the Democrats' nominee for president.

In an interview with the Des Moines Register, Clinton specifically said she would propose changes to "deal with the high cost of deductibles" and "the exploding cost of drugs, particularly the so-called specialty drugs."

Democrats target 'the next big problem' in health care: Underinsurance

She also intends to propose a fix for the so-called "family glitch" that prevents some low-income families from qualifying for subsidies because of the ACA's definition of "affordable" employer-sponsored coverage.

America's prescription drug problem: 500,000-plus people took more than $50,000 in drugs last year

Clinton criticized the plaintiffs' case challenging the ACA's subsidies in King v. Burwell, calling it a "very contorted argument that is being made by the opponents to blow up the [ACA's] guarantee of coverage."

House to vote on IPAB repeal

In related news, the House on Thursday is expected to vote on a bill that would eliminate the ACA's Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).

IPAB is a 15-member panel of health care experts established under the ACA to make cost-cutting recommendations for Medicare annually if program spending exceeds a target growth rate of 3.03%. The recommendations would take effect unless Congress develops an equivalent alternative.

Although it was scheduled to convene in 2014, the panel was not required to make recommendations that year because the projected growth rate is 1.15%, according to CMS. The Obama administration has not yet nominated any panel members.

500+ groups—mostly provider associations—call for the end of IPAB

According to the National Journal, the IPAB repeal measure is expected to pass the House. However, the Obama administration has threatened to veto the bill (Sullivan, The Hill, 6/15; Jacobs, Des Moines Register, 6/14; Owens, National Journal, 6/15; Attias, CQ News, 6/15 [subscription required]).

The takeaway: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says she will put forward proposals aimed at improving on the Affordable Care Act, including ways to address high-deductible health plans and high-cost drugs.


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