Some Connecticut legislators are seriously looking into creating a Basic Health Plan for people who make between 133 and 200 percent of the federal poverty level, instead of forcing them to use the new private health insurance exchanges. From CT News Junkie:
Over the next few months the legislature will have to tackle some tough policy questions about whether to create a State Basic Health Plan for about 74,000 low income adults, who make a too much money to qualify for Medicaid.
Under the Affordable Care Act, individuals who fall between 133 percent and 200 percent of the federal poverty level qualify for subsides through the exchanges, but the state can opt to offer those individuals a Medicaid-type plan and claim the subsidies itself.
Rep. Peter Tercyak, co-chairman of the Human Services Committee, said last year a bill which would have created a SBHP died thanks to a fiscal note he believes was inaccurate. It also didn’t help that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration opposed it.
Every attempt in this country to make individuals shop on private health insurance exchanges has proven to be a cost control failure. On the other hand, universal government insurance programs that can use their large purchasing power to negotiate better deals have repeatedly been able to provide more care at a lower cost.
That is why the health care reform implementation advisory committees in both Pennsylvania and Illinois concluded such a government-sponsored program could provide people with more affordable and comprehensive coverage. Real world experience and basic logic indicate the creation of a Basic Health Plan would be the best thing for these low-to-moderate income people.
I hope Connecticut will choose to use this option. Of course the hospitals and the private insurance companies in the state do not support this move, because lower costs for regular people normally means less profits for health care companies.