May 17, 2017

The GOP looks to Maine for health care solutions

With health care on the Senate's plate, the GOP is looking to Maine — and its success with an "invisible" high-risk pool before the Affordable Care Act — as a model for how to cover people with health problems without raising costs for everyone else, per Kaiser Health News.

Maine's plan: The program placed people with pre-existing conditions into a high-risk pool seamlessly, without them even knowing it. They got the same coverage as everyone else in their health plan, but their medical bills were paid differently — through their premiums and a surcharge on all Maine policyholders.

Why it might not work nationally: An invisible high-risk pool needs a lot of money to be successful, and, as it stands, the House-passed bill doesn't allocate that. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine has said it would need $15 billion in the first year alone, but the House bill only includes $3 billion for high-risk pools.

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