Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
A rule proposed by the Trump administration would leave patients with limited English proficiency with fewer guarantees of a written notice that free translation services are available. It also would no longer require directions on how patients can report discrimination they experience in a medical setting.
Opinion writers weigh in on these health topics and others.
Editorial pages focus on how to stem the high cost of health care.
The health reimbursement arrangements are already available to employers and workers, but the administration finalized new rules that potentially could boost their popularity. Critics fear that some of the changes could undermine traditional workplace insurance, or raise premiums for individual plans.
Supporters of the rule say it would strengthen health care professionals’ freedom of conscience, but opponents say it “empowers bad actors to be bad actors.”
The first batch of proposed 2020 rate filings are in from insurers. The sampling indicates to experts that the marketplace is stabilizing. One big reason why: Insurers are now making lots of money on their Obamacare customers — the vast majority of which are heavily subsidized — after jacking up rates to account for higher-than-expected medical costs in the early years. Other health law related news comes out of California, Minnesota, Georgia and Wisconsin.
Before the health law went into effect, African Americans with advanced cancer were 4.8 percentage points less likely to start treatment for their disease within 30 days of being given a diagnosis. But today, black adults in states that expanded Medicaid have almost entirely caught up with white patients in getting timely treatment, researchers said.
As states struggle to respond to the national drug crisis, officials around the country are watching Oklahoma. The state’s attorney general says opioid drugmakers helped ignite a health crisis that has killed thousands of residents.
Under the legislation, the state would form an advisory committee with experts, consumer advocates and state officials, and the group to develop network criteria and provider reimbursement rates to guarantee a 20% premium savings compared to plan rates in 2020. Washington state passed a similar proposal earlier this month, and several other states are considering public options.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said during Tuesday’s hearing that he hopes to make a decision “hopefully this summer” about whether to require a full trial but would not give an exact date.
As Vice President Mike Pence’s policy work flies mostly under the radar, he has developed his own sphere of influence at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Most of the bill focuses on reversing steps — largely backed by GOP lawmakers — taken by President Donald Trump to weaken the health law. But the measure also includes language on curbing high drug costs. That put Republicans in the position of voting “no” on a hot-button topic that is at the top of voters’ minds. The legislation is unlikely to make it through the Republican-controlled Senate.
A new report documents 26 instances in which information related to the Affordable Care Act was substantially altered or removed from federal websites. Some of the changes were subtle. Others, including the disappearance of an 85-page site devoted to the ACA, were sweeping.
In letters to Attorney General William Barr and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, five House chairmen say they’ve been asking since April 8 for documents connected to the decision to stop defending the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, as well as testimony from four key officials involved in the effort.
The House voted 230-183 on a measure to bar the Trump administration from granting states waivers that would ease health law requirements. The bill is one in a series of steps Democrats plan to take in the upcoming weeks. The votes come as President Donald Trump recently renewed his vow to repeal the 2010 law and directed the Justice Department to support a lawsuit aimed at invalidating the law entirely.
CMS wants to make it easier for insurers to sell across state lines, but those companies say it’s not regulations that are stopping them. “These states have each taken a different approach, none of which has, to date, resulted in insurers offering comprehensive health insurance in a state in which it is not licensed,” the National Association of Insurance Commissioners said in a comment letter. “This shows that the impediments to interstate sales are not in federal law but are inherent in the business of health insurance.” In other health law and insurance news: accountable care organizations, preexisting conditions protections, and enrollment.
Editorial writers weigh in on the quality and high costs of health care.
In its brief to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, the Trump administration abandons an earlier position that some parts of the Affordable Care Act should stand, asking the court to uphold U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor’s ruling last year striking down the entire health law. The appeals court is expected to hear oral arguments in July.
Editorial pages focus on health insurance.
The Associated Press fact checks President Donald Trump’s statements on the health law and preexisting conditions. Other news on the health law looks at its longevity, association health plans, and tax credits.