Link below is to Krugman column of 1/13/2017.
PK might be off just a little bit in saying that Republicans plans are “ALL about less”, and more skin in the game. Watch for Republicans to take just enough skin OUT of the game to put a patina of broad (if shallow), first-dollar coverage on their healthcare plan, something that will enable them to claim that Trumpcare covers more people, and does so with lower out of pocket expenses.
For example, a right-wing think tank and its favorite columnist in Georgia are currently flogging the notion that its Medicaid program should comprise a a “true” catastrophic plan (at an estimated annual premium of $1750) coupled with a membership in a “direct primary care” (DPC) practice (at an estimated annual cost of $750).
Even the very limited literature on the handful of DPC practices that actually exist does nothing to suggest “DPC + catastrophic” will result in adequate health care coverage. Something terrific, this isn’t. But this kind of plan could “cover” lots of people and a majority of them would have minimal out-of-pocket expenses. Great political coverage, great talking point – for the few years until a sufficient number of DPC patients meet their first need for something beyond primary care and realize they’ve been had.