Articles on the implementation of ObamaCare.

Lawmakers hustled Monday to resolve policy disputes holding up an agreement on a sweeping spending bill needed to keep the government funded beyond Friday, but negotiations stretched into early Tuesday morning.

Disagreements over health-care policy, immigration and funding for a New York rail tunnel project persisted as Democrats, Republicans and the White House negotiated the measure that would keep the government open until October and prevent a partial shutdown when its current funding expires at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

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As the debate continues in Virginia over whether to expand Medicaid, it is crucial to look at what the outcome has been for other states that have already expanded their programs. Thirty-one states have taken this step under the provisions laid out in the Affordable Care Act. The ACA expanded Medicaid eligibility to able-bodied adults below 138 percent of the federal poverty level, and covered 100 percent of the cost of the expansion enrollees for the initial period. That percentage declines, and by the year 2020 the federal government will only cover 90 percent of the cost of expansion enrollees. With funding after that unclear, residents of Virginia will face an unknown future of Medicaid. Given the facts staring back at us, why would any Virginian support expanded coverage?

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Arkansas recently became the third state to receive approval from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement a work requirement for Medicaid adults. The hand-delivered approval follows the department’s endorsement of work requirements submitted by Kentucky and Indiana and comes ahead of action on similar requests from a host of other states, including Arizona, Maine, New Hampshire, Utah, and Wisconsin. Arkansas’s request was among several proposed amendments to the state’s Section 1115 demonstration waiver for its Arkansas Works program, including a proposed income eligibility cap at 100 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) for the expansion population, which HHS did not approve at this time.

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What does “substantially” mean?

That could be the pivotal question for Idaho, whose chief executives now must justify their plan to let Idahoans buy health insurance in defiance of the Affordable Care Act.

Gov. Butch Otter, Lt. Gov. Brad Little and Idaho Department of Insurance Director Dean Cameron said earlier this year that insurers would be allowed to sell plans that don’t comply with the ACA, also known as Obamacare. They called the plans “state-based” insurance.

Those state officials — relying on legal opinions including those written by lawyers for Blue Cross of Idaho — believe they are “substantially enforcing” the law.

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Sens. Lamar Alexander and Susan Collins have proposed a market stabilization package that would include funding for the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing reduction subsidies for three years, three years of federal reinsurance at $10 billion a year, additional ACA waiver flexibility for states, and expanded eligibility for “copper” plans.

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Both Democrats and Republicans in Washington are considering policies that would not only retain ObamaCare for the indefinite future, but also expand this health-care disaster beyond even President Obama’s ambitions. These proposals would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by shoveling billions of additional dollars in deficit spending into the pockets of insurance companies, which have been losing money on ObamaCare’s exchanges because of the law’s misguided one-size-fits-all approach. The real solution is obvious: we need to do away with this massive, expensive and unfair government program, instead of throwing money at a handful of corporations to tolerate it. But few have accused Washington of ever recognizing the obvious.

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Congressional Republicans who repeatedly pledged to repeal and replace Obamacare instead are racing today to rescue the law with truckloads of federal cash.

Their plan: a multi-billion-dollar bailout of health insurers that sell Obamacare policies. In return, the insurers promise to reduce premiums just in time for November’s elections.

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83% agree if private insurance companies lose money selling health insurance under the Obamacare program, taxpayers should not have to bail them out to cover their losses.

67% agree subsidies to insurance companies are not only a bailout for the companies but also hide the fact that Obamacare is failing.

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Key Takeaways

  1. It appears that Congress, backed by powerful special interests in the health care industry, is getting ready to bail out, once again, Obamacare’s a failing program.
  2. The bottom line: Taxpayers still end up paying more over the next several years for a failing health insurance scheme.
  3. We are witnessing the evolution of a classic government failure, and Congress is getting ready to reward that failure with another round of corporate bailouts.

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Late last year, President Trump issued Executive Order 13813, “Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States.” The goal was to help more Americans access additional affordable health care options. The executive order prioritizes three areas for improvement: association health plans (AHPs), short-term insurance, and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs).

Enhancing additional affordable options are important given emerging news stories about non-subsidized families and individuals facing crushing insurance premiums and out of pocket costs and increases under the ACA.

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