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Adding to opposition already expressed by physician and hospital groups, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) came out against the Graham-Cassidy legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

CMS Administrator Seema Verma, MPH, said the Trump administration will take the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) in a “new direction,” claiming the policies under the last administration encouraged consolidation and providers need more “freedom” to design new care delivery models.

Once thought to be the policy equivalent of a Hail Mary pass, the plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) known as the Graham-Cassidy bill appears to have gained momentum—and with it, extra attention from healthcare industry groups like the American Medical Association (AMA) that have opposed Republicans’ so-far unsuccessful efforts to repeal the law.

Amid attempts to agree on short-term stabilization of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Democrats coming out in support for a “Medicare-for-all” bill, a group of Republican senators unveiled what could be their last chance to repeal and replace the ACA.

Members of the Senate Health, Labor, Education and Pensions (HELP) Committee were encouraged to offer greater flexibility under the Affordable Care Act’s “state innovation waivers,” the details of which could spell trouble for the fledging compromise between Democrats and Republicans on a quick fix for the law.

 

Recent Headlines

Senate Republicans’ healthcare plans collapse

Senate Republicans' latest Affordable Care Act replacement plan was introduced on July 13. Four days later, it was declared dead, as four Republican senators had publicly announced they wouldn’t support even holding a vote on the legislation.

Durbin: Some Republicans waiting on ACA repeal to fail to start bipartisan talks

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, believes opponents of the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) can use a delay in considering the bill to convince undecided Republicans to block it, particularly now that health insurers have come out strongly against the legislation.

Hospitals remain opposed to Senate healthcare bill; AMA sees slight improvement

Whenever Republicans in the House or Senate have released a new version of an Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement plan in 2017, healthcare industry reaction has been almost uniformly negative. The same can largely be said for the newest version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), with the notable exception of the American Medical Association (AMA) when it comes to two provisions. 

New Senate healthcare bill allows insurance plans with fewer benefits, keeps Medicaid cuts

Senate Republicans have released a new version of their Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement plan, adding new funding for stabilizing the individual market and keeping more of the ACA’s taxes, while also including a controversial proposal to allow insurance plans which don’t comply with ACA regulations on benefits and community rating.

House passes FDA user fee reauthorization, Senate schedule unclear

The House has passed legislation to reauthorize user fee programs through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) affecting medical devices, prescription and generic drugs.

AHIP: Market instability, higher premiums for sicker enrollees under Cruz amendment

America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), health insurers’ largest lobbying group, has been largely silent on Senate Republicans’ version on an Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement plan, but now is warning against a conservative amendment to allow insurers to now offer plans which don’t comply with ACA regulations.

Senate delaying August recess to work on healthcare bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, has taken the unusual step of delaying the Senate’s August recess, announcing the chamber will stay in session during the first two weeks of the month to address legislative priorities like the replacement of the Affordable Care Act.

CMS: Fewer insurer sign-ups on exchange show ACA is ‘failing’

The number of applications for insurers planning to participate in the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges for 2018 has fallen by 38 percent, according to CMS.

Senate unlikely to vote on ACA repeal until week of July 17

After failing to meet their self-imposed June 30 deadline to vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), Senate Republicans now say they’ll need another week in Washington before the bill may advance.

CBO: Senate healthcare bill would cut Medicaid more deeply over 20-year period

If the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) became law, Medicaid spending would be 35 percent lower by 2036 compared to levels under the Affordable Care Act, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report.

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