The Galen Institute is delighted to announce that former presidential advisor Brian Blase is joining the Galen Institute as a Senior Fellow. Until last month, Brian served on the White House’s National Economic Council where he succeeded in implementing important health policy initiatives, including Health Reimbursement Arrangements, Short-Term Limited-Duration Health Plans, Association Health Plans, among others. He also coordinated the Administration’s work on the bold report, Reforming America’s Health Care System Through Choice and Competition.
Brian holds a Ph.D. in economics and has broad experience as a senior staffer with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Senate Republican Policy Committee.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar praised Brian’s “indefatigable work” in advancing administration policies to advance competition and consumer choice in the health sector.
In addition to his affiliation with the Galen Institute, Brian has founded Blase Policy Strategies to conduct policy research and analyses and provide strategic advice on advancing market-based policy initiatives. He will be providing additional information about his new company in the months ahead.
Brian joins Senior Fellow Doug Badger to make the Galen Institute a policy powerhouse. Doug was the key health policy adviser to former President George W. Bush where he developed initiatives that led to enactment of legislation creating Health Savings Account, private Medicare Advantage Plans, and the successful Part D Medicare Prescription Drug benefit.
Brian had an op-ed published yesterday in The Wall Street Journal that argues for improving upon one provision of Obamacare that a broad range of conservative, moderate, and liberal health policy experts believe should be retained—the Cadillac tax—to produce a more affordable, consumer-focused health care marketplace. See below for a summary and link to the full article.
Please join me in warmly welcoming Brian to the Galen Institute, congratulating him on his WSJ op-ed, and wishing him continued success in his new ventures.
Improve, Don’t Repeal, ObamaCare’s Cadillac Tax
It’s the law’s least popular provision, but its goal of discouraging lavish employer plans is worthy.
By Brian Blase
July 24, 2019
There’s one provision of ObamaCare almost everyone wants to repeal. Last week the House voted 419-6 to repeal the so-called Cadillac tax, a 40% excise on high-cost employer-sponsored health insurance. The bill now moves to the Senate.
But repealing the Cadillac tax is a bad idea. Instead, Congress should modify it to encourage the use of health savings accounts.
The current uncapped tax benefit for health-insurance premiums is costly. It drags down wages and pushes up health-care spending by contributing to the third-party-payment problem. Consumers tend not to care how much things cost when someone else is paying for them.
Health savings accounts can be a bulwark against the third-party-payment problem. They encourage consumers to shop around and assess what’s worth the cost.
Instead of repealing the Cadillac tax, Congress should exempt both employer and employee HSA contributions from the calculation of the value of the plan for the purpose of enforcing the Cadillac tax.