Latest Morning Briefing Stories

American Medical Association Retains Decades-Long Stance Against Single-Payer Health Plans

KHN Morning Briefing

The effort to drop opposition was largely led by medical students. Protesters demonstrated outside the group’s annual meeting in Chicago over the weekend, but the AMA reiterated its support for strengthening the health law instead of overhauling the system. Meanwhile, CMS Administrator Seema Verma lambastes “Medicare for All.”

Even If ‘Medicare For All’ Beats The Long Political Odds Stacked Against It, The Legal Battles Beyond Might Kill It

KHN Morning Briefing

“I can imagine a situation like the ACA with folks who are ideologically opposed suing just because they don’t want to go into this system — in addition to industry groups,” said Katie Keith, a law professor and researcher with Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms. “There could be a death by a thousand lawsuits approach.” Meanwhile, the American Medical Association is being pressured to support a “Medicare for All” plan.

As People Flock To Health-Sharing Ministries, Increase In Consumer Complaints Draws State Scrutiny

KHN Morning Briefing

The ministries connect people with similar religious beliefs, and members then help pay for each other’s medical costs. Because the ministries aren’t regulated by state insurance commissioners, consumers have little recourse if their medical bill isn’t paid or is late. Meanwhile, the Senate health committee scheduled a hearing on health costs for next week.

‘I’m Losing Everything’: Double Whammy Of High Health Costs, Drug Prices Take Heavy Toll On Patients With Chronic Diseases

KHN Morning Briefing

While drug prices have skyrocketed, so have deductibles in job-based coverage — more than tripling in the last 12 years, to an annual average of $1,350, and leaving Americans with conditions like epilepsy and diabetes financially crippled just to secure basic care. In other news on health care costs: a Senate bill targets rising prices, membership programs for medevac helicopters, the business of selling wellness to homeowners, the “Medicare for All” debate, and more.

Are The Days Of Eye-Popping Rate Hikes Over? Health Law Premium Increases Fairly Moderate For 2020

KHN Morning Briefing

The first batch of proposed 2020 rate filings are in from insurers. The sampling indicates to experts that the marketplace is stabilizing. One big reason why: Insurers are now making lots of money on their Obamacare customers — the vast majority of which are heavily subsidized — after jacking up rates to account for higher-than-expected medical costs in the early years. Other health law related news comes out of California, Minnesota, Georgia and Wisconsin.

Political Ad Targets McConnell’s Opposition To Health Law, Hinting At Broader 2020 Strategy From Democrats

KHN Morning Briefing

Health care proved to be a winning issue for Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections, and they are likely to play it up again in 2020. A group looking to unseat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said its strategy is to use McConnell’s own words to “spotlight his disturbing record” on health care. In other news from the trail: Medicaid takes center stage in the Kentucky gubernatorial race and The Washington Post fact checks an alarming statistic on infant mortality from an Ohio lawmaker in the presidential race.

Health Law’s Medicaid Expansion Helped States Reduce Racial Disparities In Cancer Treatments

KHN Morning Briefing

Before the health law went into effect, African Americans with advanced cancer were 4.8 percentage points less likely to start treatment for their disease within 30 days of being given a diagnosis. But today, black adults in states that expanded Medicaid have almost entirely caught up with white patients in getting timely treatment, researchers said.

Following Sharp Outcry From Private Insurers, Connecticut Lawmakers Pause On Creating Public Option

KHN Morning Briefing

“We are taking a step back and evaluating where things stand,” said state Sen. Matt Lesser, a Democrat who led the proposal. He said many of the complaints from the insurance industry revolved around displeasure with competing with the government for customers. Meanwhile, California lawmakers move ahead with plans to expand coverage for undocumented immigrants in the state.