Reigniting Health Law Repeal Just Before Midterms? It Might Not Be That Far-Fetched.
Some Republican lawmakers, worried about Democrats using the health law as a winning issue, want to take another stab at repeal to show voters they haven't given up on it. Others don't want to touch the volatile topic with a ten-foot pole. Meanwhile, states are sounding the alarm over association health plans allowed by the Trump administration, saying they're magnets for scam artists.
The Wall Street Journal:
New Push To Topple Affordable Care Act Looms
A group of Republicans and advocacy groups will soon release a proposal intended to spark another push to repeal the Affordable Care Act, resurrecting a potentially volatile issue in the months before the November midterm elections. The proposal to topple the Obama-era health law and replace it with a plan that would give states more control over health policy is the result of eight months of behind-the-scenes work by a coalition of conservative groups. It reflects the frustration that many GOP lawmakers feel over last year’s failed effort to overturn the ACA, and the challenge Republicans now face in framing a campaign message around health care. (Armour and Hughes, 5/25)
Why States Worry That 'Association Health Plans' Will Be Magnets For Scam Artist
The U.S. Department of Labor is putting the final touches on new rules for the insurance collaborations known as "association health plans." The plans won’t have to include mental health care, emergency services or other benefits required under the Affordable Care Act, making them a cheap alternative to the policies on the health care exchanges. But many states — blue and red — are sounding alarm bells, arguing that by weakening state authority over the plans, the changes would enable unscrupulous operators to sell cheap policies with skimpy or nonexistent benefits. (Ollove, 5/25)
And in other health law and insurance news —
House Lawmakers Look To Delay Health Insurance Tax Until 2021
A bipartisan group of House lawmakers on Thursday moved to delay the health insurance tax for another year, triggering the next round of work to curb the Affordable Care Act's taxes on the industry. While the lawmakers aren't proposing an all-out repeal of the tax, the measure would be the third delay of the assessment. Reps. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) and Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) co-sponsored the bill along with Reps. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Ami Bera (D-Calif.). (Luthi, 5/24)
Health Insurance Hustle: High Prices Can Boost Profits
Michael Frank ran his finger down his medical bill, studying the charges and pausing in disbelief. The numbers didn't make sense.His recovery from a partial hip replacement had been difficult. He'd iced and elevated his leg for weeks. He'd pushed his 49-year-old body, limping and wincing, through more than a dozen physical therapy sessions. The last thing he needed was a botched bill. (Allen, 5/25)