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High Risk Pools Worked Just Fine Before Obamacare

The latest Republican plans for replacing Obamacare are focused on financially separating patients with high health care costs from all the rest. If a separate source of funding can be found for the expensive enrollees, competition for the healthier ones will keep premiums more in line with free market pricing. The vehicles are risk pools, “invisible” risk pools and reinsurance. In the latter two cases, the enrollees are generally unaware of the arrangement.

Before Obamacare, 35 states had risk pools—available to people in the individual market who had been turned down for private insurance because of a health condition. For several years prior to the exchanges, there was also an “Obamacare” risk pool, funded by the federal government.

John C. Goodman is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, President of the Goodman Institute for Public Policy Research, and author of the widely acclaimed Independent books, A Better Choice: Healthcare Solutions for America, and the award-winning, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis. The Wall Street Journal and the National Journal, among other media, have called him the “Father of Health Savings Accounts.”

Linda Gorman is the Director of Heath Care Policy at The Independence Institute in Denver, Colorado

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A BETTER CHOICE: Healthcare Solutions for America
Obamacare remains highly controversial and faces ongoing legal and political challenges. Polls show that by a large margin Americans remain opposed to the healthcare law and seek to “repeal and replace” it. However, the question is: Replace it with what?

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