New numbers on healthcare costs highlight, yet again, how much of a dereliction of duty it will be if congressional Republicans don’t take another crack this year at replacing Obamacare.
The Congressional Budget Office reported on Wednesday that premiums for the basic Obamacare plan will rise 15 percent next year, despite overall price inflation in the rest of the economy remaining at or below 2 percent.
The huge price hikes will not be a one-time thing, either. “Going forward, the agency projects premiums will increase an average of 10% a year between 2019 and 2023 and then 5% annually between 2024 and 2028,” reported CNN.
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One of the laws creates a statewide individual mandate, which will require all New Jerseyans who don’t have health coverage through a government program like Medicare or their jobs to buy a policy, or pay a fee at tax time.
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In recent elections, Democrats have faced attacks related to health-care costs, with the party being blamed for premium increases on Affordable Care Act exchanges during the Obama years.
Now, as many health insurers are seeking to impose double-digit rate increases on those marketplaces, a number of recent surveys suggest Republicans may take the lion’s share of the blame, with Democrats viewed more favorably on the issue ahead of November’s midterm elections.
For example, 61% of voters said President Donald Trump and Republicans would be responsible for problems with the ACA going forward, according to a late 2017 Kaiser Family Foundation poll.
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Utah voters will decide on ballot measures to expand Medicaid and to legalize medical marijuana this fall.
Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox released Tuesday what measures will be on the ballot in the 2018 elections this November.
A measure to expand Medicaid under Obamacare got enough signatures to make it onto the ballot.
Activists behind the measure are hoping to have the same success as Maine, which approved the Medicaid expansion in a ballot measure last year. However, Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage has vowed to not abide by the ballot measure, prompting a lawsuit.
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The Obama administration said Tuesday that 11.7 million Americans now have private health insurance through federal and state marketplaces, with 86 percent of them receiving financial assistance from the federal government to help pay premiums.
About three-fourths of people with marketplace coverage — 8.8 million consumers — live in the 37 states served by HealthCare.gov, the website for the federal insurance exchange. The other 2.9 million people are in states that created and operate their own exchanges.
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Virginia is on the cusp of expanding Medicaid after the Senate on Wednesday narrowly approved a budget that would allow the state to cover as many as 400,000 low-income people.
The House, which already voted in favor of expansion earlier this year, will have to vote again before the bill can go to Gov. Ralph Northam (D). Northam has made expansion one of the top priorities of his administration.
When it passes, Virginia will become the 33rd state, along with Washington, D.C., to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare.
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