A Quiz

In what policy document is the follow passage found? I will answer tomorrow if it is not gotten correctly in the comments before then.

Update: Benjamin in the comments was the first correct answer…the snip is from the 15 page background document circulated by Rep. Paul Ryan’s office in support of his Patients’ Choice Act. Here is the document (p. 5), initially released on May 20, 2009.

While there are some important differences, I think of the PCA and the ACA as cousins. If we focused on the policy, a deal between these two plans could be worked out. The plans share state-based insurance exchanges in which to purchase private health insurance, both modify the current tax preference of employer paid insurance, both envision boards with experts seeking to improve the function of the health care system, both allow consumers to pick different types of plans, both provide federal support to purchase health insurance.

The biggest differences are the subsidy levels provided to purchase insurance and the use of Medicaid to greatly aid in the expansion of insurance coverage in the ACA. Other key differences are the fact that the ACA has a penalty for not purchasing health insurance (individual mandate) while the PCA envisions auto-enroll procedures that are designed to get persons signed up for coverage. In both cases, I would love to know what the CBO thought about these differences. How similar would strong auto-enroll procedures be from a weak penalty for not being covered contained in the ACA? And if low income persons cannot be effectively covered by the level of subsidy offered in the PCA, that is worth knowing, isn’t it?

In policy terms, I think a political deal has always been available given these similarities, but I don’t think it has been about the policy for some time. In any event, we need to hear from the CBO about the PCA.


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