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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.
The Urban Institute researchers evaluated six different levels of change that would build on the groundwork laid by the ACA.The options include two that they say could achieve universal health coverage. Both rely heavily on boosting subsidies.
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.”
NPR looks at the five biggest changes made beneath the Trump administration, including the zeroing out of the individual mandate and allowing the addition of work requirements to some states’ Medicaid programs.
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?
The rule that has sparked fierce pushback would allow immigration officials to consider whether a person is using federal aid programs, such as Medicaid, when deciding on their green card eligibility. While three separate judges ruled against the policy, many expect it to eventually land in front of the Supreme Court.
All three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit had pointed questions from Trump administration lawyers during oral arguments on the legality of allowing states to add work requirements to their Medicaid programs.
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.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said the episode made him “more determined than ever to fight alongside you to make health care a human right.” The heart attack is likely to heighten scrutiny on age in a primary where the top candidates are all in their 70s. Meanwhile, both Sanders and rival candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) struggle to answer questions about how the middle class will be affected by “Medicare for All.”
North Carolina’s Republican-led state legislature plans to adjourn by Oct. 31, with or without an approved budget. Earlier in the summer, Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a budget bill, in part because it did not include Medicaid expansion. In Florida, state Medicaid officials recommend cuts to its program for people with disabilities, though the caps were not as severe as some had initially feared. And in other state budget news, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer defends her line-item vetoes.
To report on the growing problem, The Washington Post spotlights communities in Texas — where 159 of the state’s 254 counties have no general surgeons, 121 have no medical specialists, and 35 have no doctors at all. More news on rural health conditions comes out of Minnesota and Oklahoma.
Media outlets report on news from Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, Maryland, Maine, California, Connecticut, Missouri and Wisconsin.
DSH funds are intended to support hospitals’ uncompensated-care costs, helping facilities that serve large numbers of Medicaid and uninsured patients. A final rule released Monday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services mandates cuts to that money beginning in fiscal 2020. Other hospital and health system news is reported on Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Trinity Health, and value-based pay.
The plan under consideration would require pharmaceutical companies to supply insulin to Minnesota patients who are not already on a public health program and who make less than 400 percent of the federal poverty line. As the debate goes on, one state legislator’s suggestion about buying cheap insulin incites criticism. And in other state legislative news, Georgia lawmakers consider electric scooter limits.
The plan’s likelihood of ever being implemented, however, remains largely unknown. To date, no state has been given permission to rely solely on block grants to cover Medicaid expenses. Gov. Bill Lee, however, remains hopeful, pointing to the fact that the Trump administration has been encouraging states to take more control of their programs.
CMS Chief Seema Verma said that the true culprit is that high premiums that have priced out people who don’t qualify for subsidies. A closer look at the numbers, however, shows that immigrants’ fears over a Trump administration crackdown may lay at the heart of the increase. Hispanics were the only major racial and ethnic category with a significant increase in their uninsured rate.
Polls consistently show that health care is a top issue for voters, but Democrats have the edge when it comes to insurance and costs. President Donald Trump is hoping to build his own agenda on more public-health oriented topics like the opioid epidemic and the HIV crisis.
Even though much-anticipated fireworks between former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) failed to materialize, Biden did take shots at her and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) over how much “Medicare for All” will cost. The clash over health care opened the Thursday night debate in a sign that the issue is coming to represent the dividing line between the Democratic field: sweeping change versus building on existing framework.
A Census Bureau report found that 8.5% of the U.S. population went without medical insurance for all of 2018, up from 7.9% in 2017. The growth in the ranks of the uninsured was particularly striking because the economy was doing well. The numbers give Democrats data to back up their pushback against Republican efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act.
Decades before “Medicare for All” became the buzzword du jour for the elections, Sen. Bernie Sanders, frustrated with how his family struggled to pay for his mother’s care when she was dying, made a trip to Canada. He walked away from that “thrilled” with the prospect of something better than the U.S. health care system. Meanwhile, where do the candidates stand on the proposal? Reuters takes a look ahead of the Democratic debate this week.