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May 16, 2017

Replacing the Affordable Care Act: Lessons From Behavioral Economics

Author Affiliations
  • 1The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, DHMC, Hanover, New Hampshire
  • 2Philadelphia VA Medical Center and Perelman School of Medicine and Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
JAMA. 2017;317(19):1951-1952. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.4084

Republican efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are not over, despite the failure of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) legislation. The major challenge facing the AHCA was the loss of insurance coverage for an estimated 24 million people.1 Any subsequent reform, especially those less costly than the ACA, will have the same challenge of keeping currently insured individuals and households from discontinuing their insurance. In this Viewpoint, we draw on behavioral economics to propose 4 general principles for health insurance reform to help ensure that the currently insured will not lose their coverage.