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The cumulative effect of the Trump administration’s rules could erode a core principle of the health law: ensuring that people can rely on their health insurance if they get sick, and to spread the costs of illness widely. The most recent change gives employers more flexibility to steer tax-exempt dollars to employees for health care.
Medicaid is a crucial part of tackling the maternal mortality rates that have been a blight on the country for years. But under the Trump administration, many states are adding restrictions and limits on the program that could counter efforts made to improve women’s health. Medicaid news comes out of New Hampshire, Georgia and Oklahoma, as well.
President Donald Trump said he will roll out a health care plan that will be a cornerstone of his reelection campaign as he looks to counter Democrats’ on health care. But Republicans would rather he shift his focus elsewhere, as health care has been a winning topic for Democrats in recent years.
The health reimbursement arrangements are already available to employers and workers, but the administration finalized new rules that potentially could boost their popularity. Critics fear that some of the changes could undermine traditional workplace insurance, or raise premiums for individual plans.
While Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee are divided over the issue, they focused their collective fire on Republicans, accusing them of using “scare tactics” to fight back against any government expansion of health care. Republicans, meanwhile, painted “Medicare for All” supporters as socialists.
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.”
Both Arkansas’ and Kentucky’s work requirements have been blocked by federal judges. But unlike those states, South Carolina won’t completely end Medicaid benefits for people who don’t comply. Other Medicaid news comes out of New Hampshire and Vermont.
“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.
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.
The decision to offer Medicaid to all young adults under 26 regardless of immigration status is another step toward universal coverage for California. But the deal falls short of what some advocates had hoped for.
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.
Only three Republican delegates who supported Medicaid expansion will face challengers in upcoming primaries, despite a fierce campaign by a conservative group to oust them. Other Medicaid news comes out of Iowa and Wisconsin, as well.
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.
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.
Modern Healthcare takes a look at the nuances and complexities states will have to deal with as they move toward public options.
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.
Americans are fed up with rising health care costs and are ready to vote about it. But candidates pushing for a massive overhaul may alienate some voters who are happy with their insurance. It’s going to be a fine line to walk for the 2020 candidates. Meanwhile, The Washington Post Fact Checker looks at potential “Medicare for All” savings.
Editorial pages focus on these health issues and others.
Editorial writers express views about these health issues and others.
“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.