Health Care Costs

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Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Another 4,100 Dropped From Arkansas’ Medicaid Rolls After Failing To Properly Report Work Hours

KHN Morning Briefing

And the report found that another 4,800 people are at risk at losing coverage if they don’t meet the work requirement by the end of this month. For critics of the requirements, it’s their worst fears realized. “This is an absolute train wreck, and it is a slow-moving train wreck that the state can stop at any time,” said Sam Brooke, deputy legal counsel for the Southern Poverty Law Center, one of three groups that had sued Arkansas over the mandate.

Wave Of GOP Ads Promising To Protect Preexisting Conditions Coverage Highlight Potency Of Campaign Issue On Midterms

KHN Morning Briefing

Democrats have been sounding warnings about the potential threat to preexisting conditions coverage on the trail for months. Now some Republicans are trying to get ahead of the issue through ads including family members with health problems. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump goes after Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare For All” plan.

‘Somebody Needs To Fix It’: As Each Party Locks In Health Care Rhetoric, Many Voters Just Want A Solution

KHN Morning Briefing

“It’s crippling people. It’s crippling me,” Pennsylvania voter Kaci Rickert says of health care costs. The topic has taken center stage in the weeks before the midterm elections, as Democrats focus on Republicans’ threat to popular health law provisions, such as preexisting conditions protections, while Republicans go after progressives’ “Medicare For All” plan. News on the races comes out of Iowa, Ohio, California and Minnesota.

Trump Administration Opened Door To Step Therapy And Insurance Giant Plans To Rush In

KHN Morning Briefing

Step therapy allows insurers to require patients to try cheaper drugs first and see if they fail before moving on to more expensive ones. UnitedHealth has decided to require the method, which is supported by the Trump administration which rolled out new step therapy rules this year. Other pharmaceutical news includes Walgreens’ sales and biotech unicorns.

Massachusetts Governor Comes Out Against Contentious Ballot Initiative Limiting Number Of Patients Assigned To Nurses

KHN Morning Briefing

Reports estimate that the ballot measure would cost the state’s health system more than $900 million a year, and that if it becomes law hospitals would need to hire as many as 3,100 additional full-time nurses to comply with the new mandate. Meanwhile, a poll finds that support for the measure is waning. Midterm election news comes out of Michigan, Minnesota and Maine, as well.

Senate Democrats Fail To Block Short-Term Plans, But They Force Republicans To Cast Politically Dangerous Vote

KHN Morning Briefing

Democrats have seized on Republicans’ attacks on the health law — mostly focusing on preexisting conditions — as a winning strategy in the upcoming midterms. On Wednesday, senators forced a vote on blocking President Donald Trump’s short-term plan expansion, though no one really expected the measure to be approved. Still, the move put Republicans on the record as voting to uphold plans that don’t include health law protections just weeks before the 2018 elections.