Health Law Turns 10 In Midst Of Global Pandemic
For a legislation that's had a rocky journey from the start, it is almost fitting that it marks its 10-year anniversary in the middle of a pandemic. The New York Times and KHN look back on how far it has come and where it's headed next. Meanwhile, as states re-open their marketplaces, Democrats are calling on the federal government to do the same.
The New York Times:
Obamacare Turns 10 Today. Here’s A Look At What Works And Doesn’t.
A pandemic. A Supreme Court challenge (again). A presidential election campaign — this time with attacks from the left as well as the right. Ever since President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law 10 years ago Monday, it has faced legislative, legal and political attacks. The landmark health law, nicknamed Obamacare, has withstood more than 60 votes to repeal it from Republican-controlled Congresses, two Supreme Court decisions, the gutting of one of its main provisions (the tax penalty for not having insurance) and a president who campaigned on promises to get rid of it. (Goodnough, Abelson, Sanger-Katz and Kliff, 3/23)
Kaiser Health News:
Listen: The Hard-Knock Health Law Turns 10 Amid Pandemic
On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. Kaiser Health News chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner talks to NPR’s Ari Shapiro about how the ACA has changed health care in America over the past decade and also how the coronavirus pandemic ultimately may change the still embattled law. Kaiser Family Foundation Executive Vice President Larry Levitt also marked the anniversary of the law, discussing with Noel King, on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” how the law led to 20 million Americans gaining health insurance. (Rovner, 3/23)
The New York Times:
Eleven States Now Letting Uninsured Sign Up For Obamacare
Eleven states and the District of Columbia have opened enrollment under the Affordable Care Act to allow laid-off workers to get subsidized health insurance, and the Trump administration, which has been gunning to repeal the law, is considering opening the federal exchange to new customers. The new enrollment periods will ease insurance sign-ups for people who have recently lost health coverage along with their jobs. And they will provide an opportunity for people who didn’t buy insurance for the year to reconsider that choice. (Sanger-Katz and Abelson, 3/23)
Democrats Want Trump To Reopen Enrollment Nationwide
On the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act, Democratic lawmakers and other proponents of the law called on the Trump administration to create a national special enrollment period to allow uninsured people to sign up for health insurance, as many states have already done. The Trump administration should reopen enrollment so that more people can get health coverage during the coronavirus pandemic, several Democrats said during a conference call hosted by Protect Our Care, an advocacy group founded to defend the ACA. Many experts worry that uninsured people will be reluctant or unable to access care during the outbreak, which could make it more severe. (Brady, 3/23)
COVID-19 Could Prompt Higher 2021 Insurance Premiums, Benefit Cuts
The cost of COVID-19 testing and treatment is likely to squeeze U.S. health insurers' profits, which could lead to higher premiums in 2021. Pressure on state budgets may also prompt Medicaid benefit cuts, experts warn. A new report from Covered California, the state's Affordable Care Act marketplace, projected that commercial insurers and employers could face a $34 billion to $251 billion bill for coronavirus testing and treatment this year. Their best estimate is $103 billion. (Livingston, 3/23)