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Chairman Yarmuth Requests CBO Report on Single-Payer Policy Considerations

Jan 8, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth, Chairman of the House Budget Committee, today sent a letter to Congressional Budget Office Director Keith Hall requesting a report on design and policy considerations lawmakers would face in developing single-payer health system proposals. A full copy of the letter can be found here.

"The House Budget Committee will soon schedule hearings to review potential ways to achieve affordable, high-quality health care coverage for everyone, including Medicare for All. To begin that work, I have requested that the Congressional Budget Office provide a report on the design considerations that policymakers should consider in developing proposals to establish a single-payer system in the United States. It is key that we start these discussions with a qualitative assessment of how policy design choices could affect the federal budget, national health care spending, and access to care,” said Chairman Yarmuth.

While this report is not expected to provide an estimate on any particular single-payer proposal, Chairman Yarmuth has asked CBO to focus on the following issues:

  • How a system would be administered;
  • Coverage eligibility and enrollment;
  • What services would be covered and what cost-sharing requirements, if any, would be imposed;
  • What role, if any, private insurers would play;
  • Whether other public programs (such as Medicaid, the Veterans Health Administration, the Indian Health Service, and the Military Health System) would continue to exist;
  • How provider payment rates would be established;
  • What participation rules would be established for providers;
  • What methods would be used to contain costs;
  • How a system would be financed.

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