Monday, June 25, 2012

Update on the ACA

So the ruling for the ACA won't come until Thursday (hopefully). Until then - I wanted to do a quick post on some alternatives to the individual mandate, in case the provision gets shot down while the rest of the law stays.

Thankfully, WonkBook, this morning, linked to a document by the Government Accountability Office that outlines some incentives to spur voluntary enrollment. 

Here's the list:
• Modify open enrollment periods and impose late enrollment penalties.
• Expand employers’ roles in autoenrolling and facilitating employees’ health
insurance enrollment.
• Conduct a public education and outreach campaign.
• Provide broad access to personalized assistance for health coverage
• Impose a tax to pay for uncompensated care.
• Allow greater variation in premium rates based on enrollee age.
• Condition the receipt of certain government services upon proof of health
insurance coverage.
• Use health insurance agents and brokers differently.
• Require or encourage credit rating agencies to use health insurance status as a factor in determining credit ratings.  
A public education and outreach campaign will have extremely limited success. I mean, come on, the Obama administration tried to have a education campaign on the ACA itself, and now everyone hates the law but loves the provisions...

Of course, if the individual mandate is knocked out, there is no way Congress will act on any of these provisions. Even if Democrats maintain a slight majority in the Senate, the desire to touch health care again will be minimal. 

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