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Biden’s Inflationary Health Care Agenda

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President at Paragon Health Institute
Brian Blase, Ph.D., is the President of Paragon Health Institute. Brian was Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the White House’s National Economic Council (NEC) from 2017-2019, where he coordinated the development and execution of numerous health policies and advised the President, NEC director, and senior officials. After leaving the White House, Brian founded Blase Policy Strategies and serves as its CEO.

Poll after poll shows that Americans’ top concern is high inflation. Inflation, which most harms low-income families and seniors on fixed incomes, is largely attributable to President Biden’s spending binge. Rising inflation is forcing Americans to cut back in all sorts of ways, from driving less due to high gas prices to replacing family-favorite meals with less preferred options.

Despite the death of the Build Back Better Act, Biden is aiming to resurrect failed big-spending proposals that would increase health care prices and prices throughout the entire economy.

First, Biden is proposing to permanently increase ObamaCare subsidies that limit what households pay for a benchmark ObamaCare plan. This structure contributes to health inflation by making enrollees insensitive to premium increases. Health insurers can raise prices, with taxpayers picking up the tab.

While competition among insurers can help curtail inflationary pressure from ObamaCare’s perverse subsidies, many areas of the country lack adequate competition. One-third of counties have only one or two insurers selling ObamaCare plans. In these counties, insurers have substantial pricing power, and studies show that increased premiums and inflated prices result…

A second Biden health policy is even more inflationary. The president is proposing to further increase federal payments to states for Medicaid — the program that finances health and long-term care expenses for mainly lower-income Americans. With this approach, Biden seeks to build on the primary Democratic health policy priority of the past decade, pumping up federal spending to induce states to expand Medicaid…

In addition to driving massive improper and wasteful spending, the macro-effect of greater federal Medicaid spending is inflationary. ARP increased federal Medicaid spending by about 10 percent…

Washington must stop harmful existing policies toward states that are driving inflation, much less lavish even more money on states. This includes congressional Democrats’ new proposals, such as establishing a new Medicaid-like program in states that have not adopted ObamaCare’s expansion and creating a home and community-based program financed with increased federal money. 

The full article is available at The Hill.

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