KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Insurers Warn Of Dreaded ‘Death Spiral’ If Trump Strips Away Individual Mandate

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.

The Hill: Insurers Brace For ObamaCare Upheaval 
President-elect Donald Trump says he wants to repeal ObamaCare but keep the protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Achieving that will be easier said than done. Insurance companies warn that requiring them to cover anyone, regardless of their health status, could have disastrous consequences if not paired with the right policies. Without a mandate requiring people to buy coverage, insurers warn, only sick people would have reason to buy coverage. (Sullivan, 11/15)

Kaiser Health News: Despite Anger At Health Law’s Mandate, GOP Plans Could Also Have Penalties
The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that people have health insurance or pay a fine is one of the least popular provisions of the law, and one that Republicans have pledged to eliminate when they repeal and replace Obamacare. But take a look at some of the conservative replacement proposals that are floating around and it becomes clear that the “individual mandate,” as it’s called, could still exist, but in another guise. (Andrews, 11/15)

The New York Times: Health Care Issues Loom In Politics, Payments And Quality
The health care industry was unprepared for the presidential victory of Donald J. Trump, and executives at insurance companies and hospital systems are now uncertain what their business is going to look like in the years ahead. A Trump administration, coupled with a Republican Congress, is likely to lead to a reversal of many of the policies put into place by President Obama, and could mean a repeal of his signature health care law. (Abelson, 11/14)

Kaiser Health News: Some Panic But Others Are Indifferent About Losing Obamacare
The 20 million Americans who have gained health coverage under the Affordable Care Act don’t yet know exactly how the presidency of Donald Trump will change their lives — and reactions to that uncertainty range from anxiety to apathy. “My phone is ringing off the hook,” said Billy Bradford, an insurance broker in Montgomery, Ala. “People are just in panic mode here.” (Gold, 11/15)

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Trump Counties Tied To Obamacare
In winning what Republicans see as a mandate to repeal Obamacare, Donald Trump carried the Wisconsin counties that participate in a key part of the health program at higher rates. An analysis by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shows that people living in the 59 counties won by Trump enroll in the Affordable Care Act's private health insurance exchange at a higher rate than the 13 mostly urban counties that backed Democrat Hillary Clinton. (Stein, 11/14)

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