Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Medicaid Work Mandate In Arkansas Didn’t Boost Employment And Left Thousands Dropped From Insurance

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Senators’ Decision To Go With ‘Benchmark Payment’ Strategy To Address Surprise Bills Deals Blow To Hospital Groups

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

In Debate Over What To Do About Surprise Medical Bills, Alexander Hints At Support For In-Network Guarantee

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Trump Talks Preexisting Conditions, Abortion And Veterans Health Care As He Kicks Off 2020 Re-Election Bid

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Pelosi Zeroes In On Health Care As A Winning Issue For 2020, Directing Focus Away From Impeachment

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Party Lines Fall By The Wayside During Hearing Over What To Do About Surprise Medical Bills

KHN Morning Briefing

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.”