Latest Morning Briefing Stories

More Consumers Rolling Dice And Going With Bare Bones Plans As Substitute For ACA Coverage

KHN Morning Briefing

Most people who are going with the fixed indemnity plans — which aren’t considered true insurance under the health law — are healthy and willing to bet they won’t be hit with high medical bills anytime soon. Meanwhile, Democrats on Capitol Hill have introduced a public option plan that, though it has almost no chance of passing at the moment, reinforces the party’s push toward more universal coverage.

Virginia Lawmakers Add Tougher Medicaid Work Requirements In Attempt To Reach Agreement On Budget

KHN Morning Briefing

The House Appropriations Committee passed the new version of the budget that includes a handful of amendments to woo Senate Republicans. The lawmakers in the upper chamber had blocked the budget earlier because of the House’s attempts to expand the state’s Medicaid program. Medicaid news comes out of Colorado, Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida and Maine, as well.

Virginia Republicans’ Resistance To Expanding Medicaid Starting To Crack

KHN Morning Briefing

Two Republican state senators said this week they would accept some form of broader Medicaid benefits. The issue has sparked a fiery debate in the state, with the Senate blocking the House’s attempts to expand the program. Lawmakers are holding a special session to try to resolve the fight.

Lawmakers Vote To Lift Medicaid Restrictions On Opioid Treatment, But Dems Worry About Funding

KHN Morning Briefing

The move to allow Medicaid to pay for treatment at facilities with more than 16 beds would be one of the more costly steps Congress is thinking about taking to fight the opioid epidemic. In other news on the crisis: CVS will offer a discount on overdose medication to the uninsured; a poll reveals Americans’ complex views on addiction; the CDC investigates an HIV surge; and more.

Democrats Spurred To Run By GOP Health Law Attacks Plan To Go On Offense During Midterms

KHN Morning Briefing

Where once the health law was an elections burden for Democrats to defend, they now see it as a talking point that could help them switch red seats blue. In other news, the Washington Post Fact Checker explains why correlation does not equal causation when it comes to cost-sharing reduction subsidies; actuaries have their hands full with the law’s risk adjustment method; and Maryland’s governor signs legislation to help stabilize the marketplace.

Iowa’s New Strategy To Get Around ACA: Proclaiming That Not All Plans Are Technically Health Insurance

KHN Morning Briefing

Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) has signed a measure that allows the Iowa Farm Bureau to collaborate with Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield on self-funded “health benefit plans,” which would fall outside the regulation of the health law. Experts say Iowa’s new law is legal and unlikely to draw pushback from the government, potentially creating a model for other states to follow.