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Bloomberg Markets: Nisen on 'Disruptive' Graham-Cassidy Bill

CAROL MASSAR AND CORY JOHNSON | BLOOMBERG Radio "Bloomberg Markets" | 20 september 2017

Bret Schroeder, PA healthcare expert, shares insights on the economics of healthcare, the Graham-Cassidy health care bill, and the last-ditch effort by Senate Republicans to repeal the ACA. He is joined on Bloomberg Radio’s “Bloomberg Markets” program by Max Nisen, Bloomberg Gadfly healthcare columnist.

Commenting on the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill and if it will pass in the next 10 days, Bret says: “Well I think it does have a chance. It’s on the edge right, it’s touch and go I think. But at the end of the day it is addressing some of the key concerns that have been stated about ACA over the last years in terms of Medicaid expansion, the CSR subsidies, and the individual mandates. Those have been sticking points for quite a while and I think this bill is actually focused on those things. They seem to be confident that they have the votes, I’m not sure they do or not, but to me this is about economics, right. It really has to do with the economics of Medicaid expansion in those states, how that might hurt them over time with some of the ACA components, and I think that’s why it’s being addressed now.”

Addressing the economic aspects of the bill and how it will impact those with preexisting conditions, Bret adds: “They state that there are state budgets and state block funding for those to offset some of those premium increases. So there is a provision for that. I think on the other side of it, we have an individual mandate now, and fundamentally it’s not working. So a lot of the insurers have opted out because they are losing money left and right because people didn’t sign up. They’d rather pay the penalty than actually have the right risk pools.”

Bret concludes: “I think ACA as it is today is financially unfeasible in the long term and I think that was part of the campaign promise to repeal it from an economic point of view. I think that’s why again they are rushing to the deadline in the next 10 days. Again they are taking care of some of the key concerns that some of the other Senators have expressed in the past.”

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