Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
“Medicare for All” is on the agenda for liberal candidates pitching their hats into the 2020 race — including Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) who announced her candidacy on Monday. But a more incremental approach, such as opening Medicare to more demographics, is gaining traction with some of the more moderate lawmakers in the party.
Some federal employees face insurance paperwork glitches that affect their health coverage and add pressure to the stress of going without pay.
Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), the new chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee, said she wasn’t ready to make a value judgment on whether “Medicare for All” is a good idea, but that she wants to learn more about the different plans that are out there.
“We’ll use all our resources to make sure that we’re careful there,” said Thomas Donohue, the president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce. In other coverage and access news: insurer settles discrimination allegations over consumers who take HIV-prevention medication; a look at what happens when an insurer’s pricing tool gets it wrong; and trends for the coming year.
The length of the shutdown will dictate how furloughed and unpaid workers will be affected.
A Harvard/Politico poll geared to take the temperature of Americans’ health care views found that while support for a plan like “Medicare for All” was mostly coming from Democrats, even Republicans were receptive to allowing Americans under 65 to buy into Medicare as another option. Americans from both parties were also in overwhelming agreement that lawmakers should make sure insurance companies provide coverage to people with pre-existing conditions
Among other things, the Medicare program itself looks a lot different — and more privately operated — than it did when Democrats first started advocating for a “Medicare for All” system. As the 2020 jockeying among Democrats commences, what exactly does that sweeping idea mean for its proponents?
An Arizona couple played by the rules and bought employer-provided health insurance. But after they had a baby this year, their out-of-pocket hospital costs and doctors’ bills climbed to more than $12,000 — and medical debt now threatens their new family.
Trump administration efforts to undo Obama-era rules have helped create the buzz around this type of health coverage.
Fixing the problems that have plagued the VA is one likely area where a divided Congress could find common ground, and Secretary Robert L. Wilkie at a joint House-Senate hearing got a taste of what’s likely to be a less friendly audience than he may be used to. Meanwhile, the department has yet to submit criteria about when a veteran would be sent to a private provider.
Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), the expected incoming House Ways and Means chairman, signaled his willingness to hold hearings on “Medicare for all,” a popular priority for many progressive lawmakers in the party. Elsewhere on Capitol Hill, health care costs are in the spotlight, as well as a bill aimed at reversing the country’s maternal mortality rates.
Breast implants — used for both cancer and cosmetic surgeries — give a glimpse into how hospitals mark up prices of medical devices to increase their bottom lines.
The Trump administration offered states specific examples of how they could change the way they implement the Affordable Care Act. Critics say it could drive up premiums for many.
Under the proposal, anyone aged 50 to 64 who buys insurance through the health-care exchanges would be eligible to buy in to Medicare. While some Democrats are eager to work on the plan, others from the left-wing of the party view it as too incremental. Elsewhere on Capitol Hill: Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) wants to work on a bipartisan fix to shore up the health law, a spat between lawmakers endangers chances of two health measures getting passed this year, and Democrats shift focus from health message with eye on 2020.
“There was a failure of protocol, both within the hospital (standards) and national standards for monitoring these patients,” said attorney Edward Stump. “They’re supposed to deal with these guys with their conditions, usually it’s twice a year — CT scans and ultrasounds of the abdomen, full physicals, full bloodwork, and those weren’t being done.” Meanwhile, in Florida, VA employees say they were ignored when they complained about health concerns stemming from mold in their office building.
Policyholders reason that their health is good — for now — and they don’t see the need for costly comprehensive coverage. Detractors say the plans undermine the Affordable Care Act, and agents advise reading the fine print. “You basically have to be in perfect health,” says one.
President Donald Trump is an enthusiastic supporter of moving veterans into private care. But many experts, veterans groups and lawmakers have warned that it will cost the taxpayers a lot of money and veterans will get worse care. Meanwhile, technological failures are leaving some veterans without GI Bill money.
Calif. Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom ran in part on his support for a single-payer system in his state, but no matter how he moves forward he’s bound to anger a section of his base. His situation is emblematic of the dilemma the rest of the party faces as the 2020 campaign starts up.
An “epidemic” of robocalls timed to open-enrollment season are largely illegal, fraudulent or aim to rope you into insurance you don’t need or can’t use. They’re also really annoying.
These plans plans generally have lower premiums, but members can find that paying for the deductibles and other expenses is daunting. Experts say consumers need to understand those costs. In other insurance news, Walmart is offering its employees a newer type of insurance plan.