Marilyn Tavenner Op-Ed In USA Today: Fix The Law’s Critical Problems

posted by Alicia Caramenico

on August 26, 2016

In an opinion piece published in USA Today, AHIP President and CEO Marilyn Tavenner highlights solutions for fixing the Affordable Care Act and promoting a strong, stable private insurance market. Read full opinion piece below.

“For decades, America has made a commitment to provide affordable insurance coverage to those who need it most. From helping our seniors by implementing Medicare Advantage and the Part D prescription drug program, to helping struggling families and expanding insurance to kids, America’s health insurance plans provide critical coverage that millions rely on every day.

Today, millions more have access to coverage — and the number of Americans without insurance is dramatically down. We’ve made real progress, but we can and should do much more. Because when consumers have access to a stable, sustainable market, every American who needs affordable coverage can get it.

That starts with fixing critical problems with the Affordable Care Act. The unexpected shortfall in a key program known as “risk corridors” left hundreds of thousands with reduced coverage options. Some game the system — such as those who wait to sign up for coverage until they get sick, or provider groups that pay patients’ premiums so they can bolster their reimbursements. And when too many families are struggling every day, living paycheck to paycheck, the soaring cost of medical care forces too many to pay too much.

These problems can be solved. By improving risk adjustment and implementing effective pre-enrollment verification for special enrollment periods; by cracking down on premium payments by providers; by repealing the costly tax on every type of health insurance plan; and by improving care and quality as we’ve done in Medicare Advantage and Part D, health insurance plans can provide the effective, affordable coverage that every American deserves.

By reducing rising medical costs, we can make coverage more affordable. By increasing choice, we can increase access. That’s what health insurance plans have done in the past; that’s what we’re committed to doing today — and tomorrow.

The solutions are clear, time-tested and doable. Promoting a strong, stable private insurance market provides more choices at lower costs. Let’s work together to deliver them to the American people.”

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