Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Warren’s $52T Plan To Pay For ‘Medicare For All’ Leans Heavily On Employer Taxes, Avoids Increase For Middle Class

KHN Morning Briefing

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) released her plan for “Medicare for All” Friday, after facing criticism for not detailing how she would pay for the overhaul to the health system. It would require the federal government to absorb $20.5 trillion in new spending, but Warren says that the middle class will not see “one penny” in tax hikes. She plans to carry over almost all existing health funding from employers and state governments while also levying a variety of new taxes on the rich, corporations and high-earning investors — including doubling her signature wealth tax on billionaires.

Georgia Governor Releases Much-Anticipated Plan To Create ‘More Stability And Predictability’ In Insurance Market

KHN Morning Briefing

The proposal Georgia submitted is designed to make coverage less expensive, with more competition among insurers and fewer enrollment snags. Georgia residents could bypass Healthcare.gov and sign up for insurance directly through an insurance provider or broker website. Thirteen states have had this type of 1332 waiver approved by the federal government.

Indiana Becomes Second State In Recent Weeks To Pump The Brakes On Medicaid Work Requirement Plans

KHN Morning Briefing

Indiana and Arizona — both with Republican governors — are the first states to voluntarily take step that three other states were forced to take through court orders. Many advocates had been vocal in their warnings that many people would lose coverage if Medicaid work requirements are put into place, but the Trump administration has been allowing states to move in that direction.

Down-Ticket Democrats Fret That Presidential Candidates’ Progressive Health Ideas Will Haunt Their Own Races

KHN Morning Briefing

Health care was a winning issue in the 2018 midterms, helping the Democrats re-take the House. But now Democratic candidates fighting for competitive seats worry that, should one of the supporters of Medicare for All be the presidential candidate, they’ll be painted with the same brush as the person at the top of the ticket. Meanwhile, the issue of funding such a single-payer plan continues to dominate the conversation on the election trail.

Health Law Markets Stable As Enrollment Set To Open, But Anticipated Court Decision Could Create Rough Waters Ahead

KHN Morning Briefing

All signs point to the marketplaces finding stable footing after the tumultuous first years. Not only have premiums moderated, but more insurers are returning to the marketplace with an eye on profitability. But pending legislation on the constitutionality of the law could throw the markets for a loop once again. Open enrollment kicks off on Friday. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats failed to pass a mostly symbolic proposal that would have blocked Trump administration efforts to chip away at the health law.

Tennessee Governor Says Sharp Public Criticism Of Medicaid Block Grant Proposal Stems From Misinformation

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“There’s been a lot of concern about people getting off the rolls with this or lowering services or taking money away,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said. “That isn’t the intent at all of the block grant proposal. It’s to actually increase services and funding for our TennCare population.” Conservatives have long pushed for states to move toward block grants, but advocates worry people will lose coverage. Medicaid news comes out of Ohio, as well.

Sanders Shrugs Off Demands For A Detailed Plan On Paying For ‘Medicare For All’ As Warren Faces Increasing Pressure

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“You’re asking me to come up with an exact detailed plan of how every American — how much you’re going to pay more in taxes, how much I’m going to pay,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said. “I don’t think I have to do that right now.” 2020 rival Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has faced intense scrutiny over the same issue, and has promised to release a plan on how to pay for the changes.

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

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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.