Articles on the implementation of ObamaCare.

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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A bipartisan group of House lawmakers on Thursday moved to delay the health insurance tax for another year, triggering the next round of work to curb the Affordable Care Act’s taxes on the industry.

While the lawmakers aren’t proposing an all-out repeal of the tax, the measure would be the third delay of the assessment. Reps. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) and Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) co-sponsored the bill along with Reps. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Ami Bera (D-Calif.).

Insurers have to pay the tax for 2018, though it was suspended in 2017 and Congress passed another moratorium for 2019. Insurers estimate it will cost them $14.3 billion this year.

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A Maine state judge said Thursday that Gov. Paul LePage’s administration has a “duty to enforce” a voter-passed law to expand Medicaid to low-income adults.

Kennebec County Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy’s comment came during oral arguments in a lawsuit brought by advocacy groups to force the LePage administration to implement the Medicaid expansion overwhelmingly passed by Maine voters last November.

The judge did not indicate when she would issue a ruling, though it’s expected she will rule within a week or so. The losing side is almost certain to appeal.

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Well, that didn’t last long. Fewer than six months after Congress effectively repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate—and more than six months before that change actually takes effect, in January next year—another liberal group released a plan to reinstate it. The proposal comes as part of the Urban Institute’s recently released “Healthy America” plan.

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New York and Minnesota officials have settled a lawsuit against the Trump administration over its decision to slash federal funding for the states’ health plan programs that cover certain low-income people.

A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the case after the HHS agreed to pay $151.9 million to New York and $17.3 million to Minnesota by May 14 to fund the states’ Basic Health Programs, which together cover 800,000 people.

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The Senate’s two top Republican proponents for individual market exchange stabilization measures are in talks with CMS Administrator Seema Verma about making 1332 state innovation waivers easier to obtain.

Early insurance rate filings from Maryland and Virginia have shown huge premiums spikes, leading Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill to question which party is to blame for the hikes months before midterm elections. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said he and Verma are discussing speeding up the waiver application process, although he conceded that most of the measures he and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) proposed to keep rates in check for next year would need to be enacted by Congress.

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The CMS on Monday gave New Hampshire the green light to impose work rules for some adult Medicaid recipients. It’s the fourth state to win approval for that requirement.

The state’s Medicaid 1115 waiver will require adult beneficiaries between the ages of 19 and 64 to participate in 100 hours of “community engagement activities” a month to maintain eligibility for coverage. Community engagement is defined as having a job, being enrolled in school, participating in job skills training, or performing some sort of community service.

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The Trump administration announced Monday that it is rejecting Kansas’s request to impose lifetime limits on Medicaid benefits, drawing a line against a new level of conservative changes to the program.

The administration has already approved work requirements in Medicaid, a controversial move in itself, but Monday’s decision indicates that time limits on Medicaid coverage go too far for the Trump administration.

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President Donald Trump has found one part of the federal health law palatable: He’s allowing Obamacare rules that require chain restaurants to post calorie counts to go into effect Monday.

The rules, which are among the final pieces of the 2010 Affordable Care Act to be implemented, require restaurants to list calories on all menus and menu boards. Restaurants will also have to provide on-site additional nutritional information, such as fat and sodium levels.

The law, intended to nudge Americans to eat healthier, applies to chains with at least 20 stores.

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House lawmakers quickly voted to continue New Hampshire’s expanded Medicaid program Thursday, spending almost no time debating one of the session’s biggest policy issues.

The current program uses Medicaid funds to purchase private health plans for about 50,000 low-income residents, but it will expire this year if lawmakers don’t reauthorize it. The bill approved Thursday would continue the program for five years but change its structure to a more cost-effective managed care model. The plan also would impose new work requirements on enrollees and use 5 percent of liquor revenues to cover the state’s cost as federal funding decreases.

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