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In Washington, the subsidies for insurers have become a hot topic in the health care debates, but state insurance commissioners are more concerned about what they’ll actually have to do if they’re cut off. Without the federal subsidies, insurers would need to get the money — estimated at $7 billion to $10 billion next year — from another source. Meanwhile, in other marketplace news, Anthem is pulling out of Nevada’s exchanges and paring back its offerings in Georgia, and Molina is closing a clinic in Michigan.
Opinion writers offer thoughts on the current state of play regarding the Affordable Care Act, the repeal-and-replace effort and other ideas regarding health system reform.
The state Senate has passed the plan and it goes back to the House for a vote. Meanwhile, officials and Medicaid enrollees in Nevada are concerned about the future of the Medicaid expansion program there.
But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) still hasn’t entirely ruled out repeal efforts, either. Meanwhile, Republicans are facing a time crunch if they want to move to tax reform.
Many questions remain about what exactly the enrollment period will look like, and if President Donald Trump and his administration will try to undermine sign-ups. Meanwhile, the damage may already be done to the individual marketplace following months of uncertainty.
Opinion writers analyze where Congress turns now on the health law and the factors affecting the political decisions.
“I think a company — any size company — would be incredibly afraid to just cancel its insurance policy and say the hell with it,” says business owner Walt Rowen.
Minuteman Health Inc., which served customers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, was one of the small customer-owned insurance companies established by the federal health law. News outlets also look at other Obamacare insurance issues elsewhere.
Aetna added Medicare customers and grew the health plans it provides for large employers. A pullback from the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges also helped its business improve compared to last year’s quarter.
Many had hoped they would be leaving for recess with repeal under their belts. Meanwhile, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch announces that his committee will start holding health care hearings when lawmakers return in September.
Federal records show that 2,573 hospitals around the country will have their Medicare payments reduced because they have too many patients readmitted.
Opinion writers offer divergent views of the current moves on the health law.
“My wife and I came up with a new Covered California slogan,” quipped Santa Cruz County resident Chris Olsen. “Covered California: Nothing you can count on.” Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) says she doesn’t understand the decision and is “deeply concerned” by it.
The insurer also plans to increase 2018 premiums for its remaining plans under the Affordable Care Act by 55 percent and to cut 1,500 jobs.
Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage wrote an op-ed chastising Republican Susan Collins and independent Angus King for their vote. But the senators defend themselves, saying they met with thousands of people to discuss improving the health care system, and concluded that the GOP proposals would’ve eliminated insurance for millions, raised premiums, hurt rural hospitals and shifted costs to states. Other lawmakers also face tough questions at home about the health care legislation.
In a ruling that states can sue the administration if insurer subsidies are cut off, the courts may have taken away a powerful negotiating tool President Donald Trump has been using during the health care debates. “We’re not going to wait to find out what Donald Trump wants to do,” says California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is helping steer the states’ involvement. “My team is ready to defend these subsidies in court.”
Senate HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander and ranking Democrat Patty Murray have a history of shepherding through seemingly impossible bipartisan bills, but the odds are against them when it comes to the first attempt at fixing the Affordable Care Act since repeal efforts failed. Meanwhile, both Democratic and Republican governors chime in urging the administration to pay the subsidies.
Court allows state attorneys general to join a pending legal challenge to keep billions in subsidies flowing to consumers and insurers, despite the Trump administration’s resistance.
Editorial writers take on a variety of issues related to the future of the Affordable Care Act, what needs to happen next and what’s going wrong and right.
Gov. Charlie Baker says he will sign a bill that will raise $200 million through new fees on businesses to help pay for health care for the poor, even though the bill does not include his plan to move 140,000 people from Medicaid into private plans. Also, officials in Georgia are weighing their options for changes to that state’s Medicaid program.