Latest Morning Briefing Stories
Advocates say that President Donald Trump’s expected executive order, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, will lift the veil of secrecy around negotiated health care prices. But the health care industry is resistant, arguing that it could cause costs to climb if some businesses learn competitors are getting bigger discounts.
Media outlets report on news from California, Connecticut, Iowa, Tennessee, Ohio, New York, Illinois, Arizona, Minnesota, Georgia, Washington and Missouri.
The FTC alleged the UnitedHealth-DaVita deal would create a monopoly in the Las Vegas area and that the combination would have resulted in higher health-care costs and weaker competition for on quality, services and other amenities.
A new study may undercut one of the Trump administration’s key arguments that work requirements would cut unemployment rates. “It should certainly be a warning sign that there’s potential for large coverage losses, potential for significant confusion,” said Benjamin Sommers, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and the study’s lead author. Arkansas’s results are closely watched as other conservative states consider more restrictions to their Medicaid programs.
Under the revised bill from Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), when a patient is seen by a doctor who isn’t in their network, insurance would pay them the “median in-network rate,” meaning the rate would be similar to what the plan charges other doctors in the area for the same procedure. The health committee had presented three options on the surprise billing front in its discussion draft, including an arbitration arrangement that’s favored by other lawmakers.
Although many lawmakers agree that patients need to be protected from surprise medical bills, there are different ways that could go and many stakeholders who have strong opinions on what the solution should be. At a hearing on Wednesday, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander said that requiring hospitals to guarantee that any doctor a patient sees is in-network is the strategy he “intrinsically liked the best.” But the future of any legislation is still unclear.
Media outlets report on news from New York, Florida, California, Iowa, New Hampshire, D.C., Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, Oregon and Wyoming.
A new poll found that many respondents thought they would still be paying premiums, deductibles and co-pays. “That is clearly an incorrect view given the current proposals in Congress,” Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Steven Halper wrote in a note to clients.
President Donald Trump officially opened his 2020 campaign Tuesday with a rally in Orlando, Fla. In his speech, he took credit for a veterans’ health bill that was signed by former President Barack Obama, offered promises to protect preexisting conditions coverage, and gave a toned-down version of his talking points about babies who are born alive following failed abortion procedures.
The New York Times talked to 21 of the Democrats who are running for president in 2020. Many believe a single-payer type system is a longer-term aspirational goal and would like to see more realistic, incremental improvements soon. Others want to overhaul the whole system.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) promised that her party would “fight relentlessly” to protect health care gains and said hundreds of House Democrats held home-district events on the issue last weekend. The remarks came in reaction to President Donald Trump, who is also striving to gain back political ground on health care. But Republicans are wary of his approach. Meanwhile, a new poll confirms that voters are focused on health care.
Nine of the presidential candidates addressed the Poor People’s Campaign, a clergy-led effort to revive the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s push for attention and resources on poverty. In his remarks, former Vice President Joe Biden focused on his plan to expand on the health law, while others took a more sweeping approach.
The cumulative effect of the Trump administration’s rules could erode a core principle of the health law: ensuring that people can rely on their health insurance if they get sick, and to spread the costs of illness widely. The most recent change gives employers more flexibility to steer tax-exempt dollars to employees for health care.
Medicaid is a crucial part of tackling the maternal mortality rates that have been a blight on the country for years. But under the Trump administration, many states are adding restrictions and limits on the program that could counter efforts made to improve women’s health. Medicaid news comes out of New Hampshire, Georgia and Oklahoma, as well.
Although “Medicare for All” is popular with progressives, it faces long political and legal odds in Washington. But a network of advocates is canvassing the country, going door-to-door to try to build support for the idea with voters. Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) defended the plan on Sunday.
President Donald Trump said he will roll out a health care plan that will be a cornerstone of his reelection campaign as he looks to counter Democrats’ on health care. But Republicans would rather he shift his focus elsewhere, as health care has been a winning topic for Democrats in recent years.
Media outlets report on news from Virginia, Florida, Maryland, California, New York, Arizona, North Carolina, District Of Columbia, Minnesota, Colorado, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee.
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.
Media outlets report on news from New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, California, Florida, Ohio, Arizona and Arkansas.
Although many lawmakers agree that surprise medical bills are an urgent problem, the devil is in the details of how to determine who gets stuck with the costs. “I worry that if Congress chooses the wrong approach, consumers will simply end up paying those costs through higher premiums,” Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) said at the opening of the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee hearing. “We simply cannot allow this to happen.”