Feb 2, 2017

Obamacare benefit cuts would come with tradeoffs

Brennan Linsley / AP

The Wall Street Journal has a good look at the dilemma: cutting the benefits that are required under the Affordable Care Act might make a lot of health plans cheaper, but it could also could massively drive up costs on benefits that must be included in health plans under the law, like prescription drugs, maternity coverage, and mental health services. There's also a chance that some insurers will stop including them at all.

Before the law went fully into effect, only 2% of health plans in the market included all of the law's mandated benefits.

Why it matters: Republicans want to relax a lot of the rules, and so do insurers, but they rarely acknowledge the tradeoffs. It's always framed as giving consumers more choices, including cheaper ones — but the downside never comes up.

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