In an Inside Health Policy article published yesterday, Thorn Run Partners’ Senior Vice President Shea McCarthy weighed in the potential auto-enrollment of individuals into health plans, an idea spearheaded by Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) in their healthcare bill entitled The Patient Freedom Act. “Aside from helping Republicans improve the dismal coverage numbers estimated for House bill, auto-enrolling people in low-cost plans could also help keep the individual market balanced,” noted McCarthy. “Assuming some logistical concerns could be assuaged, insurance carriers would have plenty of incentive to participate in a market where the federal government were directly enrolling healthy people who might not otherwise purchase coverage — potentially reducing premiums for other enrollees. The policy could ultimately be a more powerful tool than the individual mandate to bring younger and healthier individuals into the market.” McCarthy also acknowledged that while the rollout of an auto-enrollment policy would likely be challenging, there are avenues that can be explored to make the process feasible. “States could supplement federal data by requiring residents to say whether they are insured when they pay state taxes or renew their driver’s license. The states also could allow hospitals and physicians to identify uninsured patients to be enrolled into no-premium plans.”
TRP in the News
In an op-ed published in RealClearHealth, Thorn Run's Billy Wynne reflects on the healthcare debate that has played out over the first 100 days of President Donald Trump's term in office. The article highlights the policy challenges Republicans have faced in repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the resistance from many key stakeholders, and the ongoing efforts to revive the GOP's replacement plan. As he notes, "somewhere inside many key Republican leaders, if not the President, was a sinking realization that repeal of Obamacare's numerous new benefits and protections would be difficult, deeply controversial, and perhaps morally regrettable – in a word: 'complex.'" Looking forward, Wynne also ackowledges the challenges ahead, suggesting that "As for the Senate… this bill is going nowhere." The article suggests that, "If any repeal-ish bill can coalesce 50 votes in the upper chamber, which is doubtful, it will look completely different from what the House is considering, and will take months to draft."
In an article that appeared this morning in Morning Consult, Thorn Run’s Andrew Rosenberg and Billy Wynne discuss why Democrats should come to the table to negotiate with Republicans on a deal to improve the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – and why they should come ready to make certain concessions. As former staff to two of the Democratic Party’s most constructive, collaborative, and accomplished health care lawmakers of the last half century – Sens. Ted Kennedy and Max Baucus – they contend that in exchange for funding programs to encourage insurers solvency in the Exchanges, Democrats must “be willing to play ball with Republicans on some of their priorities such as repealing the medical device tax, relaxing ineffective regulations, and encouraging broader pooling of markets via multi-state or multi-employer compacts.” The entire article is available below.
In a NBC News article entitled Give It to Me Straight, Doc: Is Obamacare Dying, Thorn Run Partner’s Billy Wynne weighs in on some of the looming issues regarding the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges. "In many states, it's going in the wrong direction with health plans pulling out," Wynne told NBC News. "The whole idea of the ACA is that these exchanges would succeed in bringing down premiums via competition, but you need participation to have that competition." Wynne also noted that he expects the law’s subsidies will induce insurers to enter markets where others have pulled out, saying that the subsidies would rise to meet higher premiums. "I don't think it's going to collapse absent intervention," Wynne said. "I think it could and likely would collapse with neglect or willful sabotage." The full post in its entirety can be seen below.
Today, Thorn Run’s Billy Wynne published a post on the Health Affairs blog gleaning lessons from the demise of American Health Care Act and envisioning steps forward.
The blog post challenges the narrative of inevitability on repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), considers the essential role of stakeholders, looks at the ACA’s original incorporation of some conservative ideas, and highlights how the locus of control is gravitating to Secretary Tom Price and the Department of Health and Human Services’ regulatory authority. Finally, the post suggests possible bipartisan approaches — both legislative and regulatory — that could chart a path forward on health policy.
On Wednesday February 8th, Bloomberg Government released an analysis highlighting Thorn Run Partners (TRP) as one of its top-performing lobbying groups for 2016. The report identified TRP as one of its 31 lobbying firms that “displayed impressive performance in 2016” by exceeding thresholds in several key metrics such as “growth, client satisfaction, and profitability.” Among the firms listed, TRP was the highest ranked among firms with more than $8 million in lobbying revenue. Since its founding in 2010, TRP has consistently ranked among Washington's fastest growing lobbying firms according to analysis from Politico, The Hill, Bloomberg Government, and others.
Thorn Run Partner's Billy Wynne recently published an article in Health Affairs, sharing five reasons why he believes the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will not be repealed. Among other things, Wynne explains that ACA repeal does not mean gutting the entire law which contains roughly 424 sections and that Republicans would have to face the choice of shattering a burgeoning consumer-driven market. "In conclusion, there’s ample reason to believe that enough Members of Congress and maybe even the President-elect will eventually find it irresponsible to move forward in this haphazard, two-step fashion," Wynne writes. "Some are starting to demand the menu be hashed out before they are asked to sit and eat. That shouldn’t be too much to ask. If it is, well, that tells us all we need to know about the truth behind 'repeal and replace.'"
This morning's "Morning Money" piece from Politico, made predictions about future work by the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress to repeal parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law. As a part of that discussion, the article heavily cited the introduction to this week's Financial Services Report written by Thorn Run's Jason Rosenstock. According to Jason, "[T]he transition team has made clear its goal to dismantle Dodd Frank. While Democrats appear to be digging in against a broadside attack, there is a sense that some elements of Obama’s legacy in the financial services space will be either undone or significantly modified."
In a Biz Philly article entitled 5 Concerns Philly Business Leaders Have about the 2016 Election, Thorn Run Partner’s Richard White weighs why none of the Presidential or congressional candidates have a finalized tax plan. “They’re politicians, and they’re putting out what will appeal to the base,” he says. The article notes that it is difficult for businesses to fully align with candidates because their plans keep changing. “What was discussed in January is not what they are talking about now, and what they’re talking about now is not exactly what they’ll move forward with if elected,” the article says. “The plans are also vague, so we have to look to how these candidates have voted before.”
After the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released their 2,200+ page Final Rule implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), TRP's Billy Wynne quickly provided epigrammatic analysis published via the prestigous Health Affairs blog to help readers break down and understand the new rule. Specifically, Wynne provides additional insights regarding key provisions of the rule, what it means for physicians and related providers, and potential next steps.