KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Uncertainty Over Health Law Could Be Its Downfall In Industry That Lives And Dies On Predictability

At the same time insurers are having to make a decision to stay in the Affordable Care Act 2018 marketplaces, the future is unclear for the subsidies the industry sees as crucial to survival.

The Washington Post: This Is How Obamacare Might Actually Explode
Even if Republicans can't find a way to repeal Obamacare, they may still have a way to deliver on President Trump's promise that the law will “explode” — all via the power of uncertainty. The administration and Congress could keep insurers guessing over whether it will continue federal payments that lower deductibles and copays for millions of Americans next year. Without that certainty, insurers facing deadlines may decide not to sell plans on the marketplaces set up by the Affordable Care Act — or be forced to raise their premiums significantly. (Johnson, 4/11)

The New York Times: Trump Administration To Pay Health Law Subsidies Disputed By House
The Trump administration says it is willing to continue paying subsidies to health insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act even though House Republicans say the payments are illegal because Congress never authorized them. The statement sends a small but potentially significant signal to insurers, encouraging them to stay in the market. (Pear, 4/10)

Meanwhile, a new study looks at the law's impact on low-income, childless adults —

Stateline: Uninsured Rate For Poor, Childless Adults Declines
As the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress explore ways of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, a new study shows how beneficial the law has been to poor adults who don’t have children. The study by the Urban Institute found that between 2013 and 2015, the rate of poor, childless adults without health insurance fell by 47.1 percent. (Ollove, 4/10)

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