Last November, the American people sent a message to Washington: Get things done. With Republican control of both chambers of Congress and the Oval Office, the time to enact pro-growth, pro-innovation policies that benefit American workers and businesses is now.
This month, Congress and the Trump administration have the opportunity to significantly boost one of America’s most vibrant and growing industries by suspending the federal excise tax on medical devices. This misguided tax is set to go back into effect on Jan. 1, which is why Reps. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., and Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., recently introduced legislation that would suspend the medical device tax for five years.
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American Democrats are following Bernie Sanders in embracing single-payer health care on the Canadian model. But when they get sick, our neighbors to the north increasingly find that the only way to get “free” medical care is to wait for weeks or months.
The Fraser Institute’s new report, “Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada” in 2017, documents the problem. The Vancouver-based think tank surveyed physicians in 12 specialties across 10 provinces and found “a median waiting time of 21.2 weeks between referral from a general practitioner and receipt of treatment.” This is worse than 2016’s wait of 20 weeks, making it the longest in the history of Fraser’s annual survey and 128% longer than the first survey in 1993.
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Republican lawmakers will overturn a key piece of the Affordable Care Act in their tax overhaul, a victory in a long GOP campaign against the health law.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the compromise tax bill from House and Senate negotiators will end the health law’s requirement that all individuals buy insurance or pay a fine.
The bill will “repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate tax, delivering relief to low- and middle-income Americans who have struggled under an unpopular and unworkable law,” the Kentucky Republican said in an emailed statement.
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As part of the Affordable Care Act, the federal government adjusts reimbursements to health-care providers up or down based on the quality and cost-effectiveness of their services, as measured by a set of standards established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The standards use metrics such as how long emergency-room patients must wait to be seen and how long it takes heart-attack victims to get stents placed in their blocked arteries. The intention is to encourage savings and sound practices and enhance patient satisfaction.
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Meg and Robert Holub were surprised to receive a letter last week welcoming them to a new health insurance plan and telling them to pay $3,483 by Jan. 8.
“We have received your application for individual and family coverage effective 1/1/2018,” the letter said. The only problem: They never applied for the coverage, did not want it and could not afford it.
“I worried, did someone hack my account to sign me up for this?” Mr. Holub said. “And I wondered, what are the implications if I don’t pay for this plan? Will I be hounded by a credit agency?”
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Consumer advocates reported some glitches Monday in the final days for “Obamacare” sign-ups, although the Trump administration largely seemed to be keeping its promise of a smooth enrollment experience.
In Illinois, some consumers who successfully completed an application for financial assistance through HealthCare.gov got a message saying they would likely be eligible to buy a health plan, “but none are available to you in your area.”
That information was incorrect because every county in the nation currently has at least one health insurer offering plans under the Affordable Care Act for next year.
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ObamaCare’s “Cadillac tax” has emerged as a sticking point in bipartisan negotiations over delaying certain health-care taxes before the end of the year.
Democrats are pushing to delay the “Cadillac tax” on high-cost health plans, which is despised by unions, but Republicans are pushing back and have resisted including the Cadillac tax in the package, sources say.
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With Congress seemingly on the brink of repealing the Affordable Care Act’s centerpiece requirement that most people get insurance or pay a penalty, Democrats are warning such a move would be disastrous, and Republicans are anticipating a sweeping symbolic victory.
Senate Republicans included a measure to repeal the mandate in their recently passed tax overhaul; the House didn’t, leaving GOP leaders to hammer out a final agreement for the compromise bill they hope to pass by year’s end. President Donald Trump on Friday night threw his weight behind the push to strike the mandate, promising a crowd in Pensacola, Fla., that it would soon be gone.
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Shopping to update your coverage on the health insurance marketplace may be annoying — didn’t you just do this last year? But letting the exchange automatically renew your coverage instead could be a big mistake. If you don’t like the plan you’re auto-enrolled in this year you may be stuck with it in 2018, unlike previous years when people could generally switch.
It’s all in the timing. This year, the open enrollment period, which started Nov. 1, will end a week from today, on Dec. 15 in most states. On Dec. 16, if you haven’t picked a new plan, the marketplace will generally re-enroll you in the one you’re in this year or another one with similar coverage.
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How many individuals would knowingly want to enroll in a form of health coverage with “persistently inferior” outcomes? A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Oncology suggests that Medicaid provides those persistently inferior outcomes in the nation’s largest state of California, raising more questions about the program that represents the bulk of the coverage expansion under Obamacare. Overall, the study found “substantial and persistent disparities in survival for patients with either no or other public insurance compared with private insurance for all five cancer sites examined.”
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