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Thursday is the deadline for the first open enrollment period on the federal and most state exchanges.
Before the health law, insurers could deny coverage or charge higher rates based on an individual-plan applicant’s health history. If that were true again today, 52 million Americans have a medical condition that could jeopardize their insurance, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)
The head of HHS spoke with lawmakers about the chaos that will come from repeal efforts, and urged them to find ways to fight back. Meanwhile, CMS’s acting administrator sings a similar tune in an interview with Chicago Tribune.
If the law is dismantled it could wipe out benefits and protections for millions of Americans with mental illnesses. In other news, advocates launch a campaign to try to save the Affordable Care Act, the acting CMS administrator asks lawmakers to work to fix, rather than scrap the law entirely, and actuaries add their voice to a growing list of those concerned about repeal.
The rest of the details are still murky, though, following a meeting between Vice President-elect Mike Pence and Republican leadership. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats have one message: Bring it on. “They don’t know what to do. They’re like the dog that caught the bus,” Sen. Chuck Schumer says.
States that expanded eligibility for Medicaid have failed to enroll large numbers of a significant group that stood to benefit: ex-inmates.
Trump and leading Republicans like the idea. Some policymakers and experts say it wasn’t viable in the first place.
Insurers would have little incentive to stick around if the law is dismantled without a replacement plan in place — which would mean chaos for consumers. Meanwhile, Mike Pence says Donald Trump will take on the health law right “out of the gate,” but two conservative thinkers talk with Politico about how Trump’s stance on health care is more of a wild card than some may think.
Low-income residents in poverty-stricken Clay County worry what will happen to their health care if Gov. Matt Bevin’s ambitions to overhaul the state’s Medicaid program go forward.
There would be no reason for healthy people to buy insurance, leaving only the sickest consumer base, insurers say. If that happens — and the provision to cover everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions remains — the market would collapse.
Donald Trump says the ban on insurers denying coverage to people who are sick and the provision allowing young adults to stay on their parents coverage are “the strongest assets” of the Affordable Care Act.
More than 100,000 people enrolled in coverage on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the White House says getting people signed up is its top priority.
Republican efforts to get rid of the federal health law are expected to take some time to work through Congress and leaders have promised to give consumers time to adjust to those changes.
Republican leaders say they are going to “hit the ground running” to start dismantling what they can of the Affordable Care Act. But after six years, there are aspects of the law now baked into the industry that won’t be easy to upend.
Dire dental needs and other health problems keep Remote Area Medical’s pop-up free clinics busy in states like Virginia that haven’t expanded Medicaid.
The president downplays the impact spiking premiums will have on the average customer’s wallet. But many will still feel the pinch, even with subsidies. Meanwhile, the public option has been thrust in the spotlight with all the uncertainty surrounding the health law this year.
Media outlets report on insurance rate news out of Minnesota, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Tennessee and Connecticut.
The president spoke of the law’s successes while also urging lawmakers and governors to make the changes necessary to make it better. “When one of these companies comes out with a new smartphone and it had a few bugs, what do they do? They fix it,” he said. “You don’t say, well, we’re repealing smartphones.”
It will use social media, TV ads, email and direct mail to reach more uninsured Americans. But the media blitz will run up against Republicans’ campaigns touting the opposite message. Meanwhile, a study projects that enrollment will either plateau or drop off this year.
About 2.5 million people who are not buying insurance through the exchanges are missing out on subsidies.