Partner Kevin Fitzgerald was quoted in a Managed Healthcare Executive
article, “4 Things to Know about Second Failed GOP Healthcare Bill
,” covering how the second proposed bill’s would change health savings accounts (HSAs) and catastrophic health plans, and why the most recent draft seems more political than policy-driven.
Fitzgerald explained that under the new bill, employees would have the ability to use their HSAs to pay health insurance premiums, instead of only employers being granted that ability. “If employees could use pre-tax dollars for premiums, employers might decide to raise salaries and cut back on health insurance offerings (particularly in the absence of an employer mandate and related penalties), since employees would be able to achieve tax efficiencies by using an HSA account.”
He also shared what would happen if catastrophic health plans were made available to all consumers: “The healthy would purchase low-cost policies, and the sick would opt for full ACA-compliant policies. That would likely make comprehensive coverage increasingly expensive.”
In terms of describing the newly drafted proposal as politically driven rather than policy-driven, Fitzgerald said: “Senate leadership was seeking votes from previous holdouts, including Senators Cruz and Mike Lee, and also from moderate Senators who were concerned about opiates or the optics of a large tax cut for higher-income taxpayers at the same time Medicaid was cut.”