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Policy

 

President Donald Trump is considering nominating Alex Azar, a former executive for pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, as the next secretary of HHS, which could place the agency in the hands of man who has been skeptical of value-based care and opposed drug price controls.

Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, and Patty Murray, D-Washington, have told reporters they’ve reached an agreement to fund the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s cost-sharing reduction subsidies to insurers which had been halted by President Donald Trump.

Groups representing physicians, hospitals and patients came out largely in opposition to President Donald Trump’s executive order to encourage the use of insurance plans which don’t comply with Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations on benefits and covering people with pre-existing conditions.

Cost-sharing reduction subsidies, or CSRs, paid to insurers in exchange for keeping out-of-pocket costs low for lower-income Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange enrollees will end, HHS announced Thursday night, with the agency saying it couldn’t legally continue making the payments.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on the morning of Oct. 12 to ease rules on small businesses buying health insurance. With Congress failing to act on Republican promises to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Trump will make the unilateral move to reconfigure federal regulations.

 

Recent Headlines

CBO report bolsters industry opposition to AHCA, worries some Republicans

Organizations representing hospitals and specialties reacted negatively to an estimate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement passed by House Republicans would result in 23 million fewer people having insurance by 2026.

CBO: AHCA would destabilize individual market in parts of U.S.

The Congressional Budget Office has released its updated report on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), saying the Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement passed by House Republicans would still erase the recent gains in insurance coverage and potentially price less healthy enrollees out of the individual market.

Conservative groups to Senate Republicans: No auto-enrollment in ACA repeal

Conservative advocacy groups laid out their priorities for healthcare policy as the Senate crafts its own version of an Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement, warning against a proposed “auto-enrollment” option to replace the ACA’s penalty for not buying insurance.  

Trump’s HHS budget cuts 16 percent across agency, including NIH, ONC

The full fiscal year 2018 budget proposal for HHS would include deep cuts to Medicaid, while making immediate cuts to National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and almost all HHS agencies. 

$400 billion California single-payer system offers providers 'little incentive' to control costs

The proposed single-payer healthcare system being debated in California would come with a $400 billion annual price tag—more than double the state’s annual budget—according to a review released by the California Senate Appropriations Committee.

90-day delay in ACA subsidy lawsuit adds to uncertainty for insurers

The Trump administration has asked for a 90-day delay on a ruling which could end Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies to insurers, pushing back a potentially market-destabilizing move but offering little assurance to actuaries working on 2018 rate requests for the ACA exchanges.

Why the House may have to vote on the AHCA again

Two weeks after the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed an Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement plan, the bill hasn’t been sent to the Senate because potential procedural problems may force the House to amend the legislation and then vote on it again.

CMS could boost ACA enrollment by letting consumers skip Healthcare.gov

Customers on the Affordable Care Act exchanges will be allowed to enroll directly on sites run by third-party brokers and insurers, rather than be redirected to Healthcare.gov, raising concerns from some group about privacy and choice for those shoppers.

6.3 million with pre-existing conditions face higher premiums under ACA replacement

If the current version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) became law, 6.3 million people with pre-existing conditions could be charged more by insurance companies, according to an analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Gains in insurance coverage stalled in 2016

For the first time since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in 2010, there wasn’t an improvement in the number of people with health insurance last year.

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