New study reveals Affordable Care Act overhaul possible without Congressional action

Jan 10, 2018

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January 10, 2018                                                                                                          David Boze, 206-946-1018

SEATTLE—A new in-depth study of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by Washington Policy Center Health Care Analyst, Dr. Roger Stark, MD, FACS, details how the current administration could direct a needed overhaul of U.S. healthcare policy without additional action by Congress.  The study also unveils thirteen steps states can take to reform their own health care systems and prevent financial hemorrhaging from rising health care costs.

In the report, “Administrative improvements to the Affordable Care Act and state options for health care reform,” Dr. Stark calls for the Trump administration to use the latitude granted to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in ACA Section 1332 dealing with state waivers. For example, expanding state waivers under Section 1332 would enable states to redefine the “essential” health benefits the federal government requires in every insurance plan.  Using waivers, states could expand access to health savings accounts and high-deductible insurance plans.

“There’s a lot of frustration about the failure of Congress to reform the ACA but neither the administration nor the states are powerless,” explained Dr. Stark. “The administration and state governments have the ability to improve health care and reduce costs for millions of Americans right now.”

Dr. Stark also advises the HHS Secretary to encourage Medicaid waivers under ACA Section 1115a.  States applying for waivers could potentially prioritize the use of Medicaid dollars to the truly needy and disabled.  Dr. Stark argues that states failing to reform will find themselves tangled in spiraling, unsustainable costs.

“The goal of any reform should be to give patients the greatest control of their own health care,” said Dr. Stark. “The steps I’ve outlined in this report give states and the federal administration the blueprint for immediate reform.”

Click here for the complete report.


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