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On Tuesday, voters approved the ballot measure that amended the state’s constitution to make it possible for the Medicaid program to provide health insurance to tens of thousands of low-income residents. Support for the effort was concentrated in the state’s urban areas, while rural voters largely opposed it.
The health law’s effect in this period of intense need may help determine its future, The New York Times reports.
CMS announced Thursday that 487,000 people signed up for an Affordable Care Act exchange plan since the last open enrollment period closed in December. Losing job-based health coverage is one of the life events that qualifies someone for HealthCare.gov special enrollment. Meanwhile, more issues with short-term health plans are reported.
If the Supreme Court invalidated the health law, more than 20 million Americans could lose their coverage and protections for pre-existing conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Democrats seized on the Trump administration’s move, calling it an “unfathomable cruelty.”
“[Donald Trump’s] like a child who can’t believe this has happened to him — all his whining and self-pity,” presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said during a campaign speech in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. “Well, this pandemic didn’t happen to him. It happened to all of us. And his job isn’t to whine about it. His job is to do something about it, to lead.” Biden also criticized the president’s “heartless” actions around the ACA and called for a public option. Meanwhile, Trump campaign message continues to sidestep the resurgence of coronavirus cases.
The House Democrats are set to unveil a health care plan that focuses on increasing subsidies and negotiating powers for Medicare drug prices. But the plan falls far short of the progressive health care push that was seen earlier in the year, pre-pandemic. Although it would be dead-on-arrival in the Senate, the legislation will help Democrats anchor their election messaging.
The White House is expected to file legal briefs this week asking the Supreme Court to put an end to the Affordable Care Act. But some Republicans are now wondering if that’s the most political savvy move during a pandemic. Meanwhile, Democrats want to expand subsidies and Medicaid incentives. In other news, lawmakers push for more information on federal aid distribution.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) only offered a vague statement about the plan, but said the changes will help lower premiums and co-pays. In other health industry news: ER bill mark-ups, insurance coverage during a pandemic and hospital stocks.
Opinion writers weigh in on these health care issues and others.
Some states that opened special enrollment periods for worker who lost their jobs because of the pandemic, but those sessions are coming to an end, and industry officials fear that only a small fraction of people who need coverage even know where to look. In other industry and costs news: federal aid for hospitals, plummeting profits, and medical bills.
Although people could already sign up for coverage if they had an unexpected life event, California specifically created a special enrollment period to make it easier. In other health industry and insurer news: MLR rebates, accountable care organizations, and Medicare payments.
Opinion writers express views about these public health issues and others.
Insurers no longer view the Affordable Care Act marketplace as a black hole for profits, but rather as a boon to their bottom line — especially in the midst of a pandemic.
But the policy change doesn’t require employers to offer these options; they must opt in if they want to give their employees added flexibility. In other insurance and cost news: hospital lobbyists seek higher COBRA subsidies from Congress, UnitedHealthcare to have bigger footprint in ACA marketplace, how Medicaid and ACA subsidies could help recently laid off workers, and more.
Opinion writers weigh in on these health care topics and others.
The case stems from a health law provision that requires most employers to cover birth control as a preventive service, at no charge to women in their health insurance plans. The Trump administration changed the rule in 2017 to allow organizations with religious or moral objections to opt out of coverage without having to provide an alternative avenue for their employees.
And people seeking coverage after they contracted the coronavirus may have faced higher premiums or could have been turned down all together without the pre-existing protections provided under the Affordable Care Act. But the Trump administration remains adamant that the health law must be revoked.
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the federal government must live up to its promise to shield insurance companies from some of the risks they took in participating in the health law exchanges. Insurers who accused the government of a “bait and switch” claimed they are owed $12 billion.
Editorial pages focus on these pandemic issues and others.
Opinion writers weigh in on these pandemic issues and others.