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Latest Kaiser Health News Stories

Are The Days Of Eye-Popping Rate Hikes Over? Health Law Premium Increases Fairly Moderate For 2020

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Health Law’s Medicaid Expansion Helped States Reduce Racial Disparities In Cancer Treatments

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Connecticut Poised To Consider Public Option That Supporters Say Will Cut Premiums By 20%

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

House Dems Advance Health Law Bill Forcing Most Republicans To Vote Against Popular Provisions To Curb High Drug Costs

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

With Coverage Rules Vote, House Democrats Drop First Bomb In Expected Blitz To Defend The Health Law

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Federal Regulations Weren’t The Reason Insurers Shied Away From Selling Over State Lines, Health Companies Say

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Trump Administration Formally Asks Court To Strike Down Entirety Of The ACA

KHN Morning Briefing

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.