What We're Reading: "Medicare for All" Financing Options; High-Deductible Health Plans; Juul to Cut 500 Jobs

October 29, 2019

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget released a detailed report on potential finance options for implementing "Medicare for All"; employers beginning to lessen dependence on high-deductible health plans; Juul to cut nearly 500 jobs by end of 2019.

Budget Watchdog Outlines Financing Options for “Medicare for All”

Yesterday, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) released a paper providing estimates for potential ways to finance "Medicare for All," according to The Hill. The report stated that “policymakers have a number of options available to finance the $30 trillion cost of Medicare for All, but each option would come with its own set of tradeoffs.” The budget watchdog group said that most estimates related to implementing Medicare for All would cost the federal government about $30 trillion over 10 years, with several options, including a higher percent payroll tax, percent surtax on income above the standard-deduction amount, and a percent value-added tax, serving as possible financial tradeoffs.

Employers Lessening Dependence on High-Deductible Health Plans

Some employers are seeking traditional health plans alongside or instead of high-deductible health plans, which has served as the only option for some employees in the past few years, according to Kaiser Health News. Employers have cited the use of traditional health plans as an attractive recruitment tool that offers a deductible which does not unexpectedly turn out to be thousands in costs. The unpredictability of these out-of-pocket costs with high-deductible health plans has made these coverage options less appealing to employees, even if the premium in a traditional health plan is a bit higher.

Juul to Cut Nearly 500 Jobs By the End of the Year

E-cigarette manufacturer, Juul Labs, plans to cut nearly 500 jobs by the end of the year as part of an expansive reorganization plan aimed at repairing the company’s relationship with regulators. CNBC reports that Juul Labs will additionally cut its marketing budget and invest in ways to limit underage vaping, amid pressure from regulators and government agencies such as the FDA and CDC for its role in promoting its nicotine products to adolescents. The cuts will represent about 10% to 15% of Juul’s workforce, which currently employs about 4100 people.