Dr Joe Antos Discusses Areas of Improvement Within the ACA

July 12, 2016

Though the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has introduced various beneficial provisions for the American public, Joe Antos, PhD, the Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at the American Enterprise Institute, said that he still sees room for improvement.

Though the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has introduced various beneficial provisions for the American public, Joe Antos, PhD, the Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at the American Enterprise Institute, said that he still sees room for improvement.

Transcript (slightly modified)

What about the ACA would you recommend keeping intact?

There are plenty of things in the Affordable Care Act, certainly in terms of the policy goals, but also in terms of some of the provisions that are really solid provisions. For example, moving the insurance sector to a so-called guaranteed issue, which means you are not held accountable for a pre-existing condition that makes a lot of sense. We want everybody to have health insurance and that’s a minimum that you have to do.

In terms of the delivery of healthcare, in terms of the way the subsidies are delivered, absolutely. We need subsidies for lower-income people to buy insurance. No question about that. However, requiring that the insurance they buy cover as many different things that for many people are really inappropriate doesn’t make any sense. We need to allow greater flexibility in the kinds of coverage that’s available and give people more realistic choices.

Another issue though is this problem of high-deductibles, which everybody is complaining about and I think this also reflects a bias in the law right now towards lower premiums. Well, if you require very low premiums compared to the cost of providing the coverage, than you only have 2 things you can do. You can either raise the deductible or the copayments, but the deductible is where you would probably go to get the money upfront, and you would also have a much narrower network of providers and these are things that people don’t like. So the question I think is, what can we do to loosen the rules a bit so that there’s a better balance among these 3 factors.