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The case will mark the third time the Supreme Court has taken up similar questions about the applicability of the contraception mandate, and it will be the first time it hears such arguments with conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh on the bench.
A new study finds that coverage gains made in the early years of the health law are slipping. Researchers blame the shift largely on continued lack of coverage for adults in the 15 states that hadn’t expanded Medicaid.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) say Tennessee’s proposal would create a financial incentive for the state to cut coverage benefits for consumers, because it’s allowed to keep some amount of any of the unspent federal funds it’s awarded. Medicaid news comes out of Kansas and Ohio, as well.
Although the domestic agenda was somewhat anchored by discussion of health care, the topic didn’t take center stage like at previous debates. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) focused on the cost of the status quo while moderates like Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) made the argument that debating “Medicare for All” is a pointless since many in Congress don’t support it.
President Donald Trump defended his administration’s efforts to protect health coverage for Americans in response to presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg’s ads, but fact checkers and other experts were quick to point out that Trump has gone to great lengths to weaken the health law and its popular provisions throughout his presidency. “That tweet is so far inconsistent with the direction of their policy push,” said Linda Blumberg, a health policy analyst at the Urban Institute. “It’s just astounding to me.”
Research counters a popular conservative talking point that Medicaid expansion exacerbated the opioid crisis, in the latest study to show that the expanded program has improved health and saved lives.
Democrats had urged the Supreme Court to take up the case in the current term as it is unlikely otherwise to be decided upon before the 2020 elections. The Republicans, including the Trump administration, were given until Friday to respond. They said there’s no need to rush the case through the system.
The federal government is arguing that insurers received increased subsidies when they raised premiums, which more than compensated their losses. Judges in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims have so far sided with insurers and ruled that their strategies to mitigate losses from CSR payments do not affect their eligibility for repayment. Meanwhile, states report their health law enrollment numbers.
Gov. Laura Kelly (D-Kansas) campaigned on Medicaid expansion and has been pushing the Republican-controlled Legislature to do so since taking office. She has been wrangling with Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning on the deal, which would cover as many as 150,000 additional people.
Editorial pages focus on these and other health issues.
The ministries promotes cheaper options than health plans offered under the ACA, but the groups don’t guarantee that they’ll actually cover the cost of medical bills when the need arises. As such alternatives gain in popularity, some states are starting to take a closer look.
A key measure of insurers’ financial strength — the percentage of premiums insurers collect that they pay back out in spending on claims — remained relatively strong. Experts say these numbers demonstrate resiliency within the marketplaces despite political turmoil surrounding the health law. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court set a Friday deadline for the Trump administration to respond to Democrats’ request to expedite the health law case.
An appeals court ruling kicked the case back down to the lower court for further work, which means it wouldn’t make its way to the Supreme Court until after the 2020 elections — during which health care is expected to be a major concern for many voters. By keeping the case front of mind for the public, the Democrats are trying to own what has proven to be a winning issue for them in the past.
Editorial pages focus on these health topics and others.
The rule that insurers have to provide a separate bill to show the amount being spent on the abortion coverage they provide is deeply unpopular outside of the antiabortion movement due to the administrative burden it’s expected to cause. Abortion rights groups also condemn the rule, saying it will cause confusion and further stigmatize a legal form of health care. In other news on the health law: after three years in office President Donald Trump still hasn’t delivered a “replacement” law; and more.
And new customers totaled more than 2 million people — an increase of 36,000 from last year. That’s considered a positive sign because it reflects consumer interest. The final tally doesn’t include the millions of people who chose a health plan through state-run exchanges.
The $1.4 trillion package contained wins for both parties. But many major health care issues — such as surprise medical bills — were left untouched. Congress faced a Friday night deadline to approve the funding to avoid a shutdown. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the legislation.
Many questions remain following the appeals court’s decision to kick the case back down to a federal district judge, but the Affordable Care Act does remain intact for now. Meanwhile, Republicans get some political breathing room as they head into the 2020 elections because it’s unlikely the lawsuit will be in front of the Supreme Court anytime soon.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) exchange started out with some teasing, but escalated into shouting and interruptions as they touched on well-worn arguments about the status quo versus the costs of “Medicare for All.” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) jumped in to redirect Sanders’ anger toward congressional Republicans instead of his rival candidates. But overall, health care played a much smaller role at the final debate of the year as “Medicare for All” sinks in popularity.
It’s a widely believed that attacking the health law — and its popular provisions that protect preexisting conditions — proved to be a political vulnerability for Republicans during the 2018 elections. Because the case has been kicked back down to the lower courts, that means a final decision on the law’s fate might not come until after the 2020 election cycle.