Murphycare could look a lot like Obamacare.

Lawmakers Thursday sent to Gov. Phil Murphy a bill that will require nearly all New Jerseyans to have health insurance or pay a penalty in a bid to stabilize premiums for consumers in the Obamacare marketplace.

They approved another bill that would set up a reinsurance plan that would partly be paid for by the federal government and cover some of the most expensive health care claims.

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Ohio officials asked the Trump Administration on Friday to formally waive the Affordable Care Act individual mandate that requires residents to have health insurance, making it the first state to make such a waiver request.

Ohio’s Legislature called for the 1332 waiver last summer, and Congress zeroed out the financial penalty for not having coverage in its tax bill in December.

“The (tax) legislation zeroed out the penalty that is associated with the individual mandate … but … did not eliminate the mandate itself,” Ohio Department of Insurance Director Jillian Froment said in a March 30 letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “That is why Ohio is submitting an application to waive [the mandate].”

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The only consistent characteristic of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is its ability to generate litigation. The gift that keeps on giving for Obamacare opponents seems to defy common law doctrines curbing the practices of champerty and maintenance (frivolous lawsuits).

Last month 20 state attorneys general and two governors launched the latest lawsuit in federal district court in Texas, arguing that the upcoming repeal of tax penalties for the ACA’s individual mandate, as of January 2019, means that the entire law has become unconstitutional (or at least a number of its related insurance regulation provisions).

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A state Senate panel Monday backed legislation that requires New Jerseyans to buy insurance or pay a fee — a mandate the Trump administration will end in 2019.

The move is a step toward protecting the health insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The federal landmark health care law requires individuals to buy a policy if they do not have one or face a fine at tax time. The law was meant to ensure younger and healthier people who might otherwise forgo insurance will participate in the insurance market and share costs.

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On February 21, 2018, the District of Columbia (D.C.) moved one step closer toward becoming the second in the nation, behind Massachusetts, to adopt an individual health insurance mandate. The Executive Board of the D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority (Authority) approved a resolution recommending the adoption of a District-level mandate as well as a number of other policy proposals. The resolution will have to be approved by the D.C. Council before going into effect.

D.C. would be the first to adopt its own mandate in the wake of repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) individual mandate, but it joins at least eight states considering or studying their own individual mandate.
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Hundreds of companies face prospective fines for violating Obamacare’s employer mandate by the same Trump administration that has done virtually everything in its power to abolish the federal health care law.

Internal Revenue Service notices recently began arriving in corporate mailboxes, in some cases demanding millions of dollars in fines — an awkward development as the White House touts its business-friendly tax package. The notices will likely spur another legal fight over the health law.
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Ohio will soon ask the federal government to waive an Obamacare requirement that nearly everyone in the state get health insurance coverage.

It will also ask permission to make some Medicaid recipients work 20 hours a week, go to school or take on similar activities. The state announced both these actions today, anticipating it will submit separate applications to Washington in about a month, after holding public hearings.
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House Republicans are in discussions about repealing or delaying ObamaCare’s employer mandate to offer health insurance, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said Tuesday.

Brady told reporters that he has discussed the idea with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, as well as other members of the Ways and Means Committee.

“We’ve discussed that with him as well as committee members, so yeah, there is that discussion, and I’d like to see us make progress there,” Brady said.

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Businesses are pushing back on the Internal Revenue Service’s decision to begin enforcing the Affordable Care Act’s employer insurance mandate, challenging penalties that run into the millions and asserting the agency is wrong to impose the fines.

The ACA imposes a penalty on employers with more than 50 workers who don’t provide qualifying coverage to employees, but the fines weren’t initially enforced. In November, the IRS said it would begin assessing penalties, starting with companies that failed to comply in 2015, when parts of the employer mandate first kicked in.

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The House passed legislation Tuesday to ease the ObamaCare rule that requires restaurants, convenience stores and supermarkets to list the calorie count of each menu item before it’s set to take effect in May.

The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act, introduced by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), passed, 266-157, with the support of 32 Democrats.

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