Latest Morning Briefing Stories

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.

California Governor, Lawmakers At Odds Over Prediction Feds Will Approve Tax On Managed Care Organizations

KHN Morning Briefing

California Gov. Gavin Newsom didn’t include the tax, which helps offset the state’s Medicaid costs, in his budget because it requires approval from the Trump administration. Lawmakers were more optimistic, pointing out that the federal government has already approved a similar tax in Michigan. The tax is unusual because many managed care organizations want to keep paying it. The money they send to the state is used to draw down federal cash that’s sent back to them for providing coverage to Medicaid recipients. Other Medicaid news comes out of Texas and North Carolina, as well.

Connecticut Poised To Consider Public Option That Supporters Say Will Cut Premiums By 20%

KHN Morning Briefing

Under the legislation, the state would form an advisory committee with experts, consumer advocates and state officials, and the group to develop network criteria and provider reimbursement rates to guarantee a 20% premium savings compared to plan rates in 2020. Washington state passed a similar proposal earlier this month, and several other states are considering public options.

California Governor, Legislature Headed For Showdown Over Coverage For Undocumented Immigrants

KHN Morning Briefing

California lawmakers want to expand coverage to everyone in the state, regardless of immigration status, but Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) says that expanding Medi-Cal to all adults over 25, who typically have higher health care costs than the young, could be financially unsustainable. The disagreement between the governor and Assembly members from his party is a rare one.

‘Medicare For All’ Plan’s Benefits Could Raise Overall Price Tag, But Also Make It More Popular

KHN Morning Briefing

The “Medicare for All” plans being touted by progressive lawmakers and 2020 presidential candidates include benefits, such as no copays and long-term care coverage, that surpass those of other countries with universal health care. Experts say it raises questions about how realistic the legislation is, but others say they are needed to sway Americans who are happy with their insurance coverage.

House Dems Advance Health Law Bill Forcing Most Republicans To Vote Against Popular Provisions To Curb High Drug Costs

KHN Morning Briefing

Most of the bill focuses on reversing steps — largely backed by GOP lawmakers — taken by President Donald Trump to weaken the health law. But the measure also includes language on curbing high drug costs. That put Republicans in the position of voting “no” on a hot-button topic that is at the top of voters’ minds. The legislation is unlikely to make it through the Republican-controlled Senate.