Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Trump Pledges Preexisting Conditions Action Already Protected By Obamacare

KHN Morning Briefing

In the next two weeks, President Trump says he will sign an executive order requiring health insurers to cover all preexisting conditions. Democrats jumped on the announcement, claiming that the president is trying to run under achievements of the Affordable Care Act that he is also working to overturn.

Medicaid Expansion Passes In Missouri

KHN Morning Briefing

Another ballot measure campaign results in voters again overruling Republican state lawmakers who refused to expand Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, fewer unemployed have enrolled in Medicaid during the pandemic than expected.

Most Iowa Providers Unhappy With Privatized Medicaid: Survey

KHN Morning Briefing

Quality of care for beneficiaries and reimbursement speed are among the complaints cited by health care providers about Iowa’s privatized Medicaid program. Other news stories cover New York’s rebate efforts and Medicaid enrollment.

Democratic Platform Nixes ‘Medicare For All’

KHN Morning Briefing

The Democratic Party platform aligns with Joe Biden’s campaign promises, but almost 400 delegates to the convention wanted the promise of “Medicare for All” included. Legalizing marijuana is also not in the platform.

Critics Say Administration Not Helping Unemployed Find New Health Coverage

KHN Morning Briefing

As job loss jeopardizes health coverage for millions of people, advocates say the administration should do more to publicize the availability of Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program or health plans being sold on marketplaces. Meanwhile, the administration filed a brief with the Supreme Court asking that Arkansas’ Medicaid work requirements be reinstated.

Supreme Court Hearing On Obamacare Unlikely Before November Election

KHN Morning Briefing

The Supreme Court announced that justices will not hear in October the challenge to the Affordable Care Act, supported by the Trump administration. The case, and its implications for Americans’ health care coverage, is a top campaign issue this year. Meanwhile, HHS Secretary Alex Azar’s comments on preexisting conditions is fact checked.

Oklahoma Voters Narrowly OK Medicaid Expansion

KHN Morning Briefing

On Tuesday, voters approved the ballot measure that amended the state’s constitution to make it possible for the Medicaid program to provide health insurance to tens of thousands of low-income residents. Support for the effort was concentrated in the state’s urban areas, while rural voters largely opposed it.

18M High-Risk Americans Were Underinsured At Onset Of Pandemic

KHN Morning Briefing

Some of the groups that have been most susceptible to COVID-19 were also the ones with the highest rates of being underinsured or completely uninsured. “In a way lower-income people and racial minorities are in double jeopardy because of the way our healthcare system is financed,” said lead study author Dr. Adam Gaffney.

IRS Relaxes Normally Strict Rules To Allow Workers To Make Changes To Health Insurance Plans

KHN Morning Briefing

But the policy change doesn’t require employers to offer these options; they must opt in if they want to give their employees added flexibility. In other insurance and cost news: hospital lobbyists seek higher COBRA subsidies from Congress, UnitedHealthcare to have bigger footprint in ACA marketplace, how Medicaid and ACA subsidies could help recently laid off workers, and more.

A Small Pennsylvania Town Offers Snapshot Of Economic Toll, Political Tensions And Growing Fears

KHN Morning Briefing

Manufacturing workers in Hazleton were exempted from Pennsylvania’s stay-at-home order. And then they started getting sick. In other news on the economic toll of the outbreak: recovery is likely to be long and bumpy; why stimulus funds were sent to dead Americans; kids who are U.S. citizens with undocumented parents struggle to get help; and more.

States Making Deep Cuts To Medicaid Programs Just When Their Residents Need It Most

KHN Morning Briefing

As states struggle not to collapse beneath the economic burden of the pandemic, they’re eyeing their Medicaid programs — often the largest budget item for a state — as a way to stanch the bleeding. Meanwhile, states are also asking Congress for help to cover astronomical unemployment claims.

Black Georgia Residents Fearful, Mistrustful Of Governor’s Decision To Reopen

KHN Morning Briefing

Black Americans are being hit disproportionately hard by the pandemic, and some in Georgia see the states decision to reopen as potentially devastating. “For black folks, it’s like a setup: Are you trying to kill us?” said Demetrius Young, a city commissioner in Albany, the center of the state’s epidemic.

It’s Not Just The Unemployment Totals Digging An Economic Hole, It’s Delays In Benefits To Needy

KHN Morning Briefing

Laid-off workers need money quickly so that they can continue to pay rent and credit card bills and buy groceries. But delays in benefits mean they’re going longer and longer without help. That in turn means the hole the economy has fallen into is getting “deeper and deeper, and more difficult to crawl out of.” Meanwhile, the surge of unemployed workers adds extra stress on Medicaid.