A worthwhile proposal from the Problem Solvers Caucus?

headacheThe Problem Solvers Caucus claims:

(First) Our plan would stabilize markets by making the cost-sharing payments mandatory and thereby prevent rates from rising sharply.

Second, we provide a relief valve to help states deal with the high cost of pre-existing and chronic conditions. The costliest 5 percent of patients account for nearly half of all health care spending in the country. We propose a dedicated stability fund — essentially a form of reinsurance — that states could use to reduce premiums and limit losses for providing coverage for these high-cost patients.

Third, our proposal provides relief to certain businesses from the mandate that they provide insurance to full-time employees. It also defines “full time” as a 40-hour workweek to discourage businesses from manipulating employees’ weekly hours to skirt the mandate. More than 90 percent of large businesses offered health care before the Affordable Care Act, and studies show that they would continue to do so under this change; others would move to find employee coverage in the individual marketplace.

Fourth, our plan eliminates the Medical Device Tax, an excise charge of 2.3 percent that is often passed onto consumers and reduces funds for research and development.

And finally, we provide states with additional flexibility to enter into agreements — such as enabling the sale of insurance across state lines — that would provide more choice and lower costs.

This isn’t an attractive compromise–it proposes relief from President Trump’s threat to withhold payments at the expense of business tax cuts, and reduction in employer responsibility for employee insurance. Two proposals, points 2 and 5, are difficult to evaluate–point 2 assumes that pre-existing conditions would no longer be covered unless the States assume responsibility, point 5, representing Republican dogma, is of uncertain value.

Additionally, the Problem Solvers caucus claims:

This proposal would not increase the federal deficit, offering several options to offset the new spending.

How can this be true? The proposed dedicated stability fund represents new spending, the medical device tax repeal reduces revenue. What options might offset loss of revenue and new spending is unclear–this article doesn’t say.

We can take this proposal seriously if and when it is assigned a bill number and scheduled for debate and a vote in the House. Till then, it is just talk.

Tom Reed claims that those who are all talk and no action have been excluded from the Problem Solvers Caucus. He should have excluded himself.




About whungerford

* Contributor at NewNY23rd.com where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
This entry was posted in Health Care, Reed's Views, Trump and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to A worthwhile proposal from the Problem Solvers Caucus?

  1. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Reed successfully continues his campaign to establish his willingness to work across the aisle as a problem solver. His supporters will eat it up.

    Sure, the plan is bogus. PLEASE, PLEASE, Let’s not forget that DEMOCRATS helped develop this! And a Democrat is helping to push it.

    It would really help if the Democrats had something concrete to offer. To date, all they have is generalities….A Better Deal. That’s the best that they can do?


  2. Carol says:

    And another:, which states “Reed is in his district in western New York listening to constituents during the August congressional recess.” Really? Has he ever really listened to anyone besides his out-of-district donors?



  3. whungerford says:

    Yes, it is astounding how much favorable publicity Tom is getting by posing as bipartisan before anything at all has come of it. Evidently people want progress; will Reed’s posturing satisfy?


  4. Arthur Ahrens says:

    I imagine that it will in the absence of a Democratic response.


  5. Arthur Ahrens says:

    The publicity campaign continues.

    there is NO democratic reply

    Reed continues his march to reelection


  6. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Here’s something interesting that on its face has nothing to do with Tom Reed:


    But I have watched Reed employ these propaganda techniques with great success in his press releases. And he is VERY effective at using them in his town halls.

    Reed’s opposition (Indivisible? Dems?) is so spring-loaded and so loud and so emotional that they ignore his fallacious statements and therefore give him a pass. And so he prospers while he prevaricates.

    A little bit of discipline and thought would go a long way in defusing the Reed ticking time bomb.


  7. Arthur Ahrens says:

    I forgot to mention that I have also noticed Reed playing the crowd like a musical instrument.
    He deliberately injects high-emotion items to elicit responses that enhance his stature.
    And people can’t wait to oblige him.
    And so he prospers. And few understand why.


  8. whungerford says:

    I noted too that Sessions and Reed use the same tricks. An example is Reed’s segue from the cost of filing a tax return (greatly exaggerated) to the need for unspecified reform.


  9. Joe Urban says:

    ” It also defines “full time” as a 40-hour workweek to discourage businesses from manipulating employees’ weekly hours to skirt the mandate. ”
    This proposal allows an employer to label someone who works a 39 hour week as a “part-time” employee, therefore not covered by the mandate. So, it does exactly the opposite of what it claims. It allows an employer to “skirt the mandate”. Typical Reed double -talk.


  10. Joe Urban says:

    “Fourth, our plan eliminates the Medical Device Tax, an excise charge of 2.3 percent that is often passed onto consumers and reduces funds for research and development.”
    Does anyone seriously think that the medical device manufacturers will take that 2.3% and use it for “research and development” as Reed implies?


  11. Carol says:

    Reed’s out-of-district donors strike again.


  12. Carol says:



  13. whungerford says:

    If part time workers aren’t covered by employer provided insurance, they ought to be compensated in proportion to the hours worked rather than left out.


  14. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Another day..
    More free publicity for Reed
    More silence from the Democrats


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