Latest Morning Briefing Stories

For Warren, The Devil’s In Figuring Out Who Pays For ‘Medicare For All’

KHN Morning Briefing

The answer to that could be politically tricky for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Progressive rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) says he’d pay for such a move with a tax increase for the middle class. If Warren follows that path, it could put off some voters. Meanwhile, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg maintains he never supported a “Medicare for All” plan that would end the option for private insurance.

Health Law Premiums Drop For Second Straight Year And More Insurers Enter Fray As Marketplace Corrects Itself

KHN Morning Briefing

Twenty more insurers are joining the federal exchanges and the average premium for the benchmark plan will drop by 4% next year in the 38 states using the federal Obamacare exchanges. While the Trump administration credits its own efforts, health experts were quick to push back on that, saying instead that the marketplace is stronger because insurers have raised rates high enough in recent years to make selling plans on the exchanges a profitable businesses.

Upcoming Ruling On Health Law Poised To Be Huge Headache For Trump Heading Into 2020 Election

KHN Morning Briefing

The ruling on the law’s constitutionality, expected in the next few weeks, could reignite the same concerns that helped propel Democrats into taking back the House in the 2018 midterm elections. It would also possibly let the Democrats re-frame their messaging, which has been centered on pro- or anti-“Medicare for All,” a plan that’s losing popularity in the polls.

Federal Judge Vacates Obama-Era Rule Banning Discrimination Against Transgender Patients

KHN Morning Briefing

Judge Reed O’Connor for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas is the same federal judge who last year ruled that the entire 2010 health care law was invalid. The decision is likely to be appealed, as O’Connor also ruled that the American Civil Liberties Union and River City Gender Alliance could intervene in the case.

Warren Feels The Heat As Rivals Pile-On Over Her Alleged Hedging On ‘Medicare For All’ Costs

KHN Morning Briefing

The latest Democratic debate on Tuesday night highlighted the rising popularity of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in the polls as many of her rivals went on the attack. Most notably South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who struck a more aggressive tone than in previous debates, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who is fighting for her place in the 2020 presidential race, had sharp words for the scope of Warren’s health plans. “I don’t understand why you believe the only way to deliver affordable coverage is to obliterate private plans,” Buttigieg said. Klobuchar joined in with, “At least Bernie’s being honest here and saying how he’s going to pay for this, and that taxes are going to go up.”

‘Medicare For All’ Talk Likely To Be Center Stage At Dem Debate. But What About Other Health Topics?

KHN Morning Briefing

While much of the health campaigning in the primaries has focused on how the different candidates will ensure health care coverage, there’s large swaths of the cost conversation that haven’t been touched — such as hospital spending, health care deserts and even decisions over drug development. Abortion, as well, has been one of the least talked about topics in the previous debates. Will that change at Tuesday night’s debate in Ohio when 12 Democratic presidential candidates take the stage?

A Decision On The Future Of The Health Law Is Poised To Drop Soon. This Is What’s On The Line.

KHN Morning Briefing

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals could deem the health law unconstitutional in its ruling in Texas v. Azar, a decision that could come as early as this month. Although the Affordable Care Act will remain the law of the land for a while no matter what the court decides, it could throw some things — like enrollment numbers — into flux. Meanwhile, a new study shows the impact the health law has had on patients with diabetes.

Warren Faces Increasing Pressure To Explain How She’d Pay For A ‘Medicare For All’ System

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) says that she supports rival candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) health care plan. But she also has faced criticism from members of her own party that she’s been “evasive” when it comes to paying for such a system. Other news on the elections looks at more candidates’ health plans, where the Democrats stand on gun control, and the pregnancy discrimination story that inspired women to speak out.

CMS Faulted By Government Watchdog For Approving Medicaid Work Requirements Without Considering Costs

KHN Morning Briefing

“Without requiring states to submit projections of administrative costs in their demonstration applications, and by not considering the implications of these costs for federal spending, CMS puts its goals of transparency and budget neutrality at risk,” the Government Accountability Office said in the report. The GAO, a nonpartisan agency that works for Congress, found in its report that costs to administer the work requirements range from about $6 million in New Hampshire to $271 million in Kentucky.

Senate Democrats To Target Trump’s Expansion Of ‘Junk Insurance’ Plans

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The effort is part of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s efforts to hit Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for ignoring legislation passed by the Democratic House on health care, guns and other issues. Meanwhile, a new report finds that more states are taking control of their health law marketplaces.