Latest Morning Briefing Stories

New Hampshire Pumps Brakes On Medicaid Work Requirements After 17,000 Found To Be Non-Compliant In First Month

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Gov. Chris Sununu is delaying the penalties tied into the legislation for 120 days as the state continues its outreach efforts to make people aware of the requirements. “Making sure we get this right is just absolutely paramount,” said Sununu. “So the idea of giving ourselves another 120 days to move forward on this and get the implementation where we need it to be, it’s not just fair to the system, but it’s fair to those individuals.” New Hampshire is just the latest state to struggle with the implementation of the work requirements.

Health Law On Trial (Again): How A Long-Shot Case Grew Legs And Now Looms As An ACA Threat And 2020 Election Issue

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Many legal experts across the political spectrum are dubious about the fate of the latest court case challenging the constitutionality of the health law. But should the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules against the ACA following oral arguments today, that all but guarantees it will end up in front of the Supreme Court — with its decision coming right before the 2020 elections. In the last election cycle, protecting the health law proved a winning issue for Democrats.

If United States Provided Health Care To Undocumented Immigrants It Would Be An Outlier Even Among Progressive Countries

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Countries with government-run, universal health care often still place tough restrictions on providing that care for immigrants in the country illegally. Yet the idea is a popular one among the 2020 Democratic candidates. The New York Times looks at what would be involved in implementing the policy. In other news from the campaign trail: former Vice President Joe Biden promises to bring back the individual mandate if he’s elected, the complexities of “Medicare for All” continue to divide candidates and more.

Health Law’s Momentous Day In Court: Tuesday’s Hearing Could Catapult ACA Debate Toward Supreme Court

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit will hear oral arguments on Tuesday in the high-profile lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the health law. The issue is on a likely path toward the Supreme Court, which would put it center stage in the 2020 elections. Although Republicans have adamantly pushed to overturn the law, that position did not prove successful for them in the most recent election cycle.

Payment Negotiations Over Iowa’s Medicaid Program Grind Into Start Of Fiscal Year

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The negotiations revolve around how much Iowa will pay national insurance companies to run its Medicaid program. Officials decline to estimate how much more money the state will have to spend on the program, but said any increase would include money for initiatives legislators approved, such as higher reimbursement rates for nursing homes that care for Iowa Medicaid members. News on Medicaid comes out of Florida, Kansas and Illinois, as well.

‘Medicare For All’ Might Be Hot Buzz Phrase These Days, But On Debate Stage Most Candidates Equivocate

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On the second night of the 2020 Democratic debates only Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) raised their hands when asked if they would get rid of private insurance in favor of “Medicare for All.” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said she supported Sanders’ plan, but added the stipulation that there would need to be a transition period built in. Others on stage, including former Vice President Joe Biden, championed universal care, but wouldn’t abolish the private insurance industry to get there.

In Ominous Sign For Health Law, Appellate Court Questions Whether House, Democratic AGs Have Right To Defend It

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The surprising request from one of the most conservative circuit courts in the country suggests that the judges who will hear the case over the health law’s constitutionality could toss out the appeal on procedural grounds. In that scenario, the lower court ruling overturning the law would stand. Legal experts have long-thought that the case would fail eventually and that the health law would prevail, but this move calls into doubt that prediction.

Warren Embraces ‘Medicare For All’ But Plan Gets The Cold Shoulder From Most Candidates At First Night Of Debates

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was quick to defend “Medicare for All” and attack the insurance industry, saying that the other Democratic presidential candidates who argue it is impossible are just not willing to fight for it. Some of the more centrist candidates, including Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, pushed back on Warren’s stance. “I think we should be the party that keeps what’s working and fixes what’s broken,” Delaney said.

Health Care Likely To Be A Source Of Tension As 2020 Democratic Candidates Take The Stage For Debates

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2020 Democratic candidates will take the stage in Miami over two nights in a political extravaganza that marks a new phase in the sprawling campaign to take on President Donald Trump. Health care has emerged as one of the dividing issues between the candidates, so it will likely make an appearance over the course of the debates. Meanwhile, a new poll shows that Trump is vulnerable in battleground states when it comes to health care.

Supreme Court To Hear ‘Bait-And-Switch’ $12B ACA Suit From Insurers Who Claim They Were Hurt By Risk Corridor Program

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The health care law established so-called risk corridors meant to help insurance companies cope with the risks they took on when they decided to participate in the marketplaces. The law’s drafters hoped that payments into the program would offset payments out. However, losses substantially outpaced gains. The government was supposed to make up much of the difference, but Congress later enacted a series of appropriation riders that seemed to bar the promised payments.

As 2020 Candidates Go Big And Bold On Health Ideas, Voters Say They Just Want Someone To Bring Costs Down

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Many of the candidates are pushing “Medicare for All” or some variation of expanded government-supported health care. While many voters see the plans as aspirational, for now, they simply want to pay less for their health care. That disconnect between what politicians are preaching and what voters are worried about could be detrimental to Democrats, who polls show currently hold an advantage over Republicans when it comes to the issue of health care. Meanwhile, media organizations help you navigate the candidates’ stances on health.

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

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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.

Deepening Quarrel Between White House Officials, HHS Secretary Threatens To Derail President’s Top Health Agenda Items

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Politico talked to a dozen current and former White House and HHS officials, as well as others familiar with the tensions brewing between President Donald Trump’s aides and HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “You have two teams with two visions,” an individual who’s been in heated meetings with HHS and the White House told Politico. “Alex is outnumbered and keeps losing.”