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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has made his “Medicare for All” a lynchpin of his campaign. But there isn’t much support for it from the lawmakers whose help he would need to get is passed. Meanwhile, The New York Times looks at what it took other countries to get to universal health care, and the history isn’t pretty. Meanwhile House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) plans to unveil legislation to address high health costs in order to offer coverage for vulnerable moderate Dems.
As federal officials promise that Medicare, Medicaid and ACA plans will have the costs of their tests covered, some private insurers promise they will cover diagnostic testing when ordered by a doctor, ease network, referral and prior authorization requirements and/or waive patient cost sharing. States have been taking steps to ease cost concerns over testing, as well.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg cited a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit throwing out HHS’ approval of Arkansas’ similar waiver. The appellate panel’s unanimous opinion said the waiver approval was not consistent with the primary objective of the Medicaid statute, which is furnishing medical coverage.
In a country with a health insurance system “designed to make you think twice to seek care every time you get a runny nose, fever and cough,” many are worried about the costs of getting tested, despite the fact that it’s crucial to containing the outbreak. The federal government and states are trying to figure out ways to ease that burden.
The Trump administration said it was premature for the Supreme Court to get involved in the case, but the justices agreed to add it to their docket. While the decision itself isn’t likely to come before the November elections, Democrats are excited that the issue — something these see as a winning topic for themselves — will be kept front of mind voters.
Media outlets report on news from Maine, Connecticut, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Georgia, and California.
Media outlets report on news from Massachusetts, Maryland, Florida, Texas, District of Columbia, Colorado, New York, California, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois.
Media outlets report on news from West Virginia, Illinois, North Carolina, California, Virginia, Missouri, Georgia, and Massachusetts.
The Colorado Health Insurance Option formula’s base rate is 155% of Medicare rates, but hospitals’ individual rates would vary based on hospital type. Hospitals are still wary about the option, though. It seems likely hospitals will have to raise costs for people with insurance plans that aren’t part of the state option, said Katherine Mulready, senior vice president and chief strategy officer for the Colorado Hospital Association.
“The math does not add up,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said of rival and front-runner Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) “Medicare for All” plan. Sanders earlier in the week released a proposal on how he’d cover the costs of his ambitious progressive agenda, but other candidates and experts are questioning how accurate his numbers are. Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden went after the front-runner as well for his past stance on guns.
“It’s very worrisome for hospitals,” said Chas Roades, a health care consultant. “Suddenly, the plan you’re relying on for payment is also competing with you at the front end of the delivery system.” In other news, Walmart takes on CVS and Amazon, and patients are left floundering when insurer drops doctors.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) finally released an outline to fund programs like “Medicare for All,” after months of resistance and questions about how he’ll pay for it. But the math still might not add up. Meanwhile, a look at what it means for the candidates not to release their health records.
HHS said last month that the state’s abortion coverage requirement violated federal law that banned government entities that receive HHS funding from discriminating against health-care organizations because they don’t provide abortion or abortion coverage. “The Trump Administration’s threats not only put women’s health on the line, but illegally threaten crucial public health funding that Californians rely on,” said California Democratic Attorney General Xavier Becerra in a letter to HHS.
A 6-year strike in the 1990s ended with a health care deal with which other workers were envious. If “Medicare for All” is enacted, does that mean those efforts were for naught? Meanwhile, despite the warning from the powerful Culinary Union against Sen. Bernie Sanders’ health plan, Sanders easily secured victory in Nevada’s caucuses over the weekend.
Opinion writers weigh in on these health topics and others.
The Indian Health Service says that it won’t release a report on the government officials who were responsible for a pediatrician who was charged with sexually abusing six boys on two reservations over his time at IHS. Legal experts are questioning the grounds from IHS’ decision, though. Other news on the administration focuses on EPA and “forever chemicals,” new visa rules for immigrants, and a lawsuit against the VA.
The findings suggest a growing openness among employers to regulatory approaches for controlling healthcare costs, even though the business community traditionally favored market-based solutions. Other health industry news focuses on accountable care organizations, social determinants, and surprise medical bills.
It would also save about 68,000 American lives a year. The research gives some weight to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) talking points on the 2020 campaign trail, but the study is also built on assumptions about human behavior and how the system would work in practice that others find fault with. Meanwhile, some say that the Democrats’ push for “Medicare for All” could hurt them in Minnesota, a traditionally blue state that has a number of medical-related jobs at stake.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) went after moderates for what she deemed as “thin” health care plans, while also blasting progressive rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for not being realistic or ready to compromise. The sharper attacks were indicative of a tense night on stage at the latest Democratic debate, as newcomer Mike Bloomberg drew vitriol and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s feud boiled over. Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden singled Bloomberg out for calling the Affordable Care Act a disgrace when it was first passed, but the claim requires some context that Biden left out.
California’s leaders attributed the increase to a reinstated state-level individual mandate fine and a longer enrollment period. “This has proven the case that the Affordable Care Act, as designed and not kneecapped, works and works well,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee.