Hillary Clinton's Health Care Reform Proposals

Anticipated Effects on Insurance Coverage, Out-of-Pocket Costs, and the Federal Deficit

Published in: The Commonwealth Fund, v. 32, Sep. 2016

Posted on RAND.org on November 04, 2016

by Christine Eibner, Sarah A. Nowak, Jodi L. Liu

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ISSUE: Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has proposed modifications to the Affordable Care Act to limit consumers' out-of-pocket health spending. GOAL: We analyzed four of these policies--cost-sharing tax credits to offset spending above 5 percent of income; reduced premium contributions for marketplace enrollees; a fix to the ACA's "family glitch," which leaves some families with expensive employer coverage; and the introduction of a public option on the marketplaces. METHODS: RAND's COMPARE microsimulation model. KEY FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS: These policies would increase the number of insured individuals by 400,000 to 9.6 million, and decrease consumers' health spending relative to current law. Cost-sharing tax credits have the biggest effect--increasing coverage by 9.6 million and decreasing average spending by up to 33 percent for those with moderately low incomes. However, the policies with the largest coverage gains also increase the federal deficit, with impacts ranging from--$0.7 billion to $90 billion.

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