Healthcare Politics II - Party Platforms
It seems I'm going to be drawing from The New England Journal of Medicine a lot in this series (which probably will only run ~ 4 posts). Here is a summary of the platforms of each party on the issue of healthcare.
It is worth a read. It does define the differences in the parties to a large degree. If I had to pick only 3 bullet points on each.
- Mandates on employers - offer coverage or a penalizing tax
- Establishment of a national health plan (similar to Medicare) for uninsured
- Increase regulation on private insurance and end 'risk ratings' based on health status
- End employer-paid coverage tax benefit i.e. health insurance is a taxable benefit, add refundable tax credit for those carrying insurance.
- Creation of a guaranteed access insurance pool for 'uninsurable' (too sick)
- Deregulation of insurance markets
Both would like to see 'disease management' meaning a shift away from a pay-for-procedure model to a pay-for-outcome, but this may be very difficult to transition to (how would one bill effectively?). I only highlighted, so do read the full pdf, it is really interesting and does a good balanced job of advantages and issues with each platform.
I would also note that these are simply platforms, not actual legislation. Whatever does get proposed will likely be some type of middle ground. Democrats control congress, so the Democratic plan would likely change less than the Republican one. This also means, in my opinion, that the status quo should be assumed until actual legislation is passed.
To bring it back to investing, right now health insurers are trading as though the Democratic plan will come to pass in some form.