Latest Morning Briefing Stories

As Health Law Enrollment Deadline Nears, Remember The Insurance That Looks Too Good To Be True Probably Is

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Some consumers in North Carolina are receiving robocalls that come across like ads for plans with names like “Trump Health Care” touting affordable coverage. But those options are often skimpy and don’t offer even some of the basic coverage Americans have grown used to under the Affordable Care Act. The deadline for signing up for a 2020 plan is Sunday. News comes out of Georgia, Florida and California, as well.

How An IRS Letter About Health Care Coverage Ended Up Saving 700 Lives

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The letter prompted the recipients to sign up for health coverage to avoid penalties, which in turn prevented premature deaths that would have occurred without it. It was essentially the first rigorous experiment to find that health coverage leads to fewer deaths, a claim that politicians and economists have fiercely debated in recent years

Justices Appear Sympathetic To Insurers In ACA ‘Risk Corridor’ Case: ‘Why Doesn’t The Government Have To Pay?’

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The government promised to cushion the blow for some insurers if they entered the health law marketplace, but then Congress stripped the money out of the budget. The insurers say they are owed $12 billion. From the questions during the oral arguments it seems like the Supreme Court justices may agree, though both Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito were skeptical of some of the insurers’ points.

Increasingly Bitter Personal Rivalry Between Azar And Verma Threatens To Derail Administration’s Health Goals

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Politico reports on the escalating feud between HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma and the disruptions people close to the situation say it has caused. Privately, Azar’s and Verma’s camps are pointing the finger at one another, and disclosures about Verma’s use of highly paid consultants to raise her personal profile exacerbated the tensions.

Dems Who See Health Care As Winning Issue Increasingly Sounding Alarm Over Political Pitfalls Of ‘Medicare For All’

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Warnings are being issued at all levels of the party–from union members to candidates running in swing states. “We won in Kentucky and Louisiana, barely, in part, because we won on health care. I don’t think we can afford to lose on health care,” Gov. Gina Raimondo (D-R.I.) said. Meanwhile, industry opponents for “Medicare for All” are starting to go after the moderates’ health plans as well. In other election news, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has a plan to expand mental health treatment.

A ‘Public Option’ Used To Be So Controversial It Was Dropped From ACA. In Era Of ‘Medicare For All’ It’s Regained Appeal.

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A so-called “public option” would allow people to buy a government-run health plan that competes with the private marketplace. In previous years, the policy was considered extreme, while now it’s starting to sound like the moderate option in the current political landscape. Meanwhile, Politico takes a look at the army being built to fight “Medicare for All.”