Some House Republicans want to curb the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) risk corridor program.
The House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee is holding a hearing today on H.R. 4406 and H.R. 5175 — two risk corridor program bills introduced by Rep. Lance Leonard, R-N.J.
- H.R. 4406 would require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to get all risk corridor program funding from health insurers.
- H.R. 5175 would eliminate the risk corridor program altogether.
PPACA drafters created the program to protect insurers in the individual and small-group major medical markets against the effects of the new PPACA commercial health insurance programs. HHS is supposed to use money from health insurers that do unusually well to help health insurers that do unusually poorly.
PPACA does not say what HHS should do if money from successful health insurers runs out. HHS says it will run the risk corridor program in a “budget neutral” fashion. Health insurers say HHS should help them if PPACA hurts health insurers so badly that most of them do poorly.
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Jack Hoadley, a health policy specialist at Georgetown University, told the subcommittee that the PPACA risk corridor program and other PPACA risk-management programs are new versions of programs already in place at the Medicare Part D prescription drug program.