Navigation Links
Internists tackle key health reform issues
Date:8/6/2009

WASHINGTON Monographs addressing individual mandates, tax exclusion and a public plan option were released today by the American College of Physicians (ACP). The new policy papers are:

  • Individual Mandates in Health Insurance Reform
  • Reforming the Tax Exclusion for Health Insurance
  • A Public Plan Option in a Health Insurance Connector

"These monographs provide an evidence-based analysis of three key issues being considered by Congress as it crafts health reform legislation," noted ACP President Joseph W. Stubbs, MD, FACP. "They provide our perspectives on how to craft a requirement that all persons obtain health insurance coverage, on the advisability of limiting the tax exclusion for health insurance provided by employers, and how a public plan option might be appropriately structured to ensure choice and access to physician services."

All three monographs were developed and approved by ACP's Health and Public Policy Committee before being provided to its Board of Governors and councils for comments. Finally, they were adopted by ACP's Board of Regents at its July meeting.

The monographs answer such questions as:

  • Should individuals be required to have health insurance coverage? If so, under what conditions and linked to other reforms?
  • Should the tax exclusion of employer-provided health insurance be capped to provide revenue for health reform and achieve other policy goals? If so, how should such a cap be designed and linked to other reforms?
  • Should the public be able to enroll in a "public plan" offered and administered by the federal government in addition to qualified private health insurance plans? If so, how should such a public plan be designed to be consistent with other ACP policies and linked to other reforms?

In the Individual Mandates monograph, ACP says it believes that every American deserves access to quality health care and supports individual mandates in efforts to reform health care in the United States when coverage is made fair, accessible and affordable. While individual mandates are a way to reform the health care system and achieve universal coverage, ACP believes they can only be implemented in a way that will not make such a requirement punitive, especially to low-income Americans.

ACP's Tax Exclusion monograph notes that the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored insurance has helped millions of American obtain affordable health insurance through their workplace. However, the current system disproportionately benefits upper income people and does not benefit low-income people who do not owe income taxes, the self-employed, and people with individual market insurance.

"A comprehensive health care reform initiative will be expensive and one way to at least partially fund such an effort is to cap the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance," ACP's monograph says. "Savings from the cap could be directed toward insuring those who do not have insurance coverage. Implementing a cam would need to be done in a way that considers the needs of low-income people who have employer-sponsored insurance. And should reflect variations in insurance costs due to firm size, health status, and practice expense."

ACP believes that a cap should be coupled with reforms to ensure that a core set of benefits is available.

The Public Plan Option monograph approved by ACP considers the pros and cons of the public plan option competing with private insurance products in a health insurance connector or exchange. ACP conditionally supports the establishment of a public plan option as part of a comprehensive health care reform proposal.

"A public plan option that competes on a level playing field with private insurers could help facilitate delivery system change, reduce costs, and ensure stability in the market," ACP says in its monograph. Establishing fair regulations that apply the same standards to both public and private insurance plans for minimum benefit packages, premium rating, and plan accessibility should help avoid unintended adverse consequences.

However, ACP also says that separate, independent entities should be established for objective governance of the health care connector and the public plan option. For a public plan and the health insurance connector to operate effectively and fairly, the health care delivery system must be reformed to strengthen primary care and a new provider payment model should incentivize care coordination, reward positive health outcomes, and promote use of best practices and effective drugs and devices. Physician and patient participation in a public or qualified private health plan offered through a connector should be completely voluntary. Further, ACP believes that safeguards would need to be established to ensure that the payment rates under a public plan are competitive with those offered by private health insurers in the same market. Together, the ACP policy papers help support the College's efforts for coverage, support for the primary care workforce, payment and delivery system reform, based on long-standing policies that have been adopted by the organization.


'/>"/>

Contact: David Kinsman
dkinsman@acponline.org
202-261-4554
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Internists ask President-elect Obama to include aid for primary care in stimulus proposal
2. ACP hosts largest medical education meeting for general and subspecialty internists
3. Internists diagnose health-care system ills, show how to achieve universal coverage
4. Internists Diagnose Health Care System Ills, Prescribe Remedies to Achieve Universal Coverage, Better Quality, and Lower Costs
5. Michigan IT Companies Helping the University of Miami Center for Patient Safety Tackle a Leading Cause of Death Using an RTLS Solution to Monitor Staff Hand-Washing Compliance
6. Teaming Up to Tackle a Deadly Cancer
7. Two Ways to Tackle Tuberculosis
8. The Year of Affordable Healthcare Brings Together San Francisco Community Groups to Tackle Healthcare Crisis
9. Technology Leaders, Patient Groups and Community Advocates Launch Effort to Tackle Chronic Disease Crisis in Washington State
10. WPSU Debuts New Series; 1st Show Tackles Neuroscience and the Military
11. Midbrook Tackles Medical Decontamination
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... Better education to coaches and parents ... work today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’ s ... to prospectively document the association between sports specialization and lower extremity injuries in ...
(Date:7/23/2017)... ... July 23, 2017 , ... “Squiggy’s Outdoor Adventure”: a turtle’s backyard ... the creation of published author, Paula Christian, a wife and mother to three amazing, ... family, who center their lives on God. She loves to tell stories to ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... , ... "As a doctor of lung medicine managing chest diseases for more ... said an inventor from Center Valley, Pa. "My idea is to improve the device ... the patent-pending PLEURAL SAFE-t-STAT CATHETER KIT to offer an efficient means of draining pleural ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... July 21, 2017 , ... The Karen Miller Agency, a ... in the greater Birmingham area, is joining the Chris Hammond Youth Foundation in ... the region. , The Chris Hammond Youth Foundation maintains athletic facilities in rural ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... July 21, 2017 , ... Bernard R. Bach, Jr., MD, orthopaedic surgeon at ... Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine (AOSSM) , received the 2017 Robert E. Leach Sports ... Toronto, Canada. This prestigious award is given annually to honor those who have made ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/14/2017)... 13, 2017 It should come as no surprise ... is in the midst of a crippling opioid epidemic. According ... the number of overdose deaths from opiate-based medications has quadrupled, ... a million dead from 2001 to 2015". During this time, ... has similarly quadrupled, drawing a compelling link between prescription and ...
(Date:7/13/2017)... 2017 RK Logistics Group, Inc. was awarded ... its Fremont, CA headquarters facility where ... and San Jose for hi-tech, pharmaceutical ... , with its Fremont Innovation District, is excited to ... powerful resource to the hundreds of biotech, pharma and biomed ...
(Date:7/12/2017)... -- CarpalAID is a revolutionary new product that relieves painful carpal ... tunnel syndrome affects more than 8 million people a year. Women ... The common methods of treating CTS are painful surgery, the use ... gloves. ... CarpalAID is a clear patch worn on the palm of the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: