The Trump administration is poised to roll back the federal requirement for employers to include birth control coverage in their health insurance plans, vastly expanding exemptions for those that cite moral or religious objections.
The new rules, which could be issued as soon as Friday, fulfill a campaign promise by President Trump and are sure to touch off a round of lawsuits on the issue.
More than 55 million women have access to birth control without co-payments because of the contraceptive coverage mandate, according to a study commissioned by the Obama administration. Under the new regulations, hundreds of thousands of women could lose birth control benefits they now receive at no cost under the Affordable Care Act.
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Full-scale repeal of Obamacare has failed, at least for now. But there are still components of the law that can, and should, be rolled back immediately. The Independent Payment Advisory Board is a prime example.
Obamacare created the board of 15 unelected, presidentially-appointed bureaucrats to keep Medicare’s costs under control. If entitlement spending growth surpasses a specific target (currently, aggregate GDP growth plus 1 percent) the board must recommend Medicare cuts.
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Not even 24 hours after the latest “repeal and replace” proposal ran out of steam, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) ignited a new round of health policy speculation by predicting, during a cable news interview, impending Trump administration action on a longtime Republican go-to idea: association health plans.
“If [consumers] can join large groups, get protection and less expensive insurance … it will solve a lot of problems in the individual market,” Paul said last week on the MSNBC show “Morning Joe.”
Later, President Donald Trump told reporters that he would “probably be signing a very major executive order” that could affect “millions of people.”
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Republicans and Democrats are engaging in warfare over a traditionally bipartisan program to insure children.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is marking up legislation to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program by five years. However, Democrats have objected to the legislation because of measures to pay for the program.
“Here we are with a partisan bill that asks us to pay for coverage of children on the backs of seniors and the most vulnerable among us,” said Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo.
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