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‘Medicare For All’ In Spotlight As 2020 Race Begins In Earnest, But Rumblings Of ‘Medicare For More’ Ramp Up On Hill

KHN Morning Briefing

“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.

Powerful Chamber Of Commerce Pledges To Fight Any Efforts By Congress To Move Toward Single-Payer

KHN Morning Briefing

“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.

More Than 4 In 5 Democrats Want Congress To Enact A Taxpayer-Funded National Health Care Plan, Poll Finds

KHN Morning Briefing

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

In Likely Preview Of What’s To Come Next Year, VA Secretary Grilled By Increasingly Critical Congress

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

On Capitol Hill: Medicare For All; Lowering Health Care Costs; Maternal Mortality Rates; And More

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Medicare ‘Buy-In’ Proposal — A Toned Down Alternative To Single-Payer — Gains Momentum With Moderate House Democrats

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Suits Allege Kansas City VA Hospital Could Have Prevented Hep C Patients’ Deaths

KHN Morning Briefing

“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.

Buyers Of Short-Term Health Plans: Wise Or Shortsighted?

KHN Original

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.

The Battle Quietly Brewing Over Privatization Of Veterans’ Health Care

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Determining The Costs Of A High Deductible Plan

KHN Morning Briefing

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.