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Kansas Committee Expected To Take First Vote On Medicaid Expansion Today

KHN Morning Briefing

The issue has been swatted down repeatedly since the health law went into effect, but after moderates ousted several conservatives in last fall’s elections, a legislative panel is scheduled to vote on a measure today. The committee’s chairman, Rep. Dan Hawkins, a Wichita Republican, says it will be close. News outlets also report on Medicaid developments in Ohio, Alabama and California.

Republicans’ Answer To Covering The Sickest Of The Sick: High-Risk Pools

KHN Morning Briefing

The cost of caring for people with chronic, serious health conditions is immense and how to pay for it has plagued both parties for years. Republicans are touting high-risk pools as a way to do it, but past attempts have not proven successful. Meanwhile, Vox reporter Sarah Kliff talks about where everything stands after this week’s general upheaval.

Cleveland Clinic Reports A 2016 Income Drop — Blames Obamacare Reimbursement Rates And High Drug Prices

KHN Morning Briefing

Meanwhile, in Florida, Republicans are pushing to repeal the state’s certificate-of-need regulations, a Kansas House committee blocks a bill that would allow the Kansas University Health System to ban concealed firearms and the Florida-based Nemours Children’s Hospital awaits state regulators’ decision about its new heart and lung transplant center.

Conservative Republicans Rally Behind Plan That Focuses On HSAs

KHN Morning Briefing

“What if 30 percent of the public had Health Savings Accounts?” said Sen. Rand Paul. “What do you do when you use your own money? You call up doctors and ask the price… if you create a real marketplace, you drive prices down.” Meanwhile, House leadership will discuss their proposals with rank-and-file members on Thursday to gauge their receptiveness.

IRS Walks Back Individual Mandate Requirement To Ease ACA Burdens On Taxpayers

KHN Morning Briefing

The Internal Revenue Service had previously announced that for the first time it was going to reject any 2016 tax forms that didn’t have information filled out on whether the taxpayer had complied with the requirement to get coverage or risk fines. But following an executive order directing agencies to relax rules around the health law, that plan has been rolled back.

Math For Insurance Only Adds Up If Healthy Subsidize The Sick, Expert Says

KHN Morning Briefing

Economist Jonathan Gruber, who worked on both the Massachusetts and federal health overhauls, joined other health experts on a panel looking at the obstacles Republicans will face when trying to craft something that’s less expensive but still ensures people have access to coverage. Meanwhile, actuaries offer their take on stabilizing the marketplace.

House Republicans Weighing Key Medicaid Change As Part Of Health Law Overhaul

KHN Morning Briefing

Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., says Republican leaders are considering switching federal payments for Medicaid to per capita allotments, but it’s not clear that proposal will win supporters in the Senate. Meanwhile, Politico looks at how GOP lawmakers who want to cut Medicaid spending may be forced to increase the funding for a bit.