It keeps getting harder to sell Affordable Care Act policies, says Steven Mendelsohn, a Montgomery County licensed insurance salesman.

It’s bad enough that United Healthcare pulled out of the Pennsylvania exchange that sells the subsidized health insurance parties last year, when rates went up 10%. Or that Aetna — which less than 10 years ago dominated the local market for individual policies — stopped writing the policies here earlier this year, when rates went up another 10%.

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President Obama admitted in a far-ranging interview about his presidency that his signature health law has “got real problems.” He said he encouraged Democrats to “walk the plank to get the Affordable Care Act done,” despite their (well-founded) fears they could lose their seats over their votes.  “Now, part of my argument to them was, you’ve already paid the price politically, it’s not as if a failed health-care effort would be helpful in midterm elections, it’s better to go ahead and push through and then show that we had gotten something done that was really important to the American people.”  (He admits that the party was absolutely ready to take massive casualties to get the last leg of its political agenda passed.)

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Delawareans are again facing steep price increases for health insurance next year under the Affordable Care Act.

Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart has approved an average rate increase of 32.5 percent in the individual market for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware, which has the vast majority of the individual market share in Delaware. That follows an average premium increase of 22.4 percent for individual Highmark plans this year.

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s updated health care proposals narrow what the Republican presidential nominee had previously proposed regarding health care, but his campaign still has not offered details about how such reforms would work.

Trump’s health care proposals outlined online, which were recently updated with little fanfare and still linkto his pervious proposals, say he would replace the Affordable Care Act with health savings accounts if elected to the presidency. He’s previously said people should be allowed to use health savings accounts that are tax-free and can accumulate, and that could be passed on to heirs when they die, saying the “flexibility and security provided by HSAs will be of great benefit to all who participate.”

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Republicans have been vowing for six years now to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They have voted to do so dozens of times, despite knowing any measures would be vetoed by President Barack Obama. But if elected, a President Donald Trump wouldn’t have to wait for lawmakers to once again pass repeal legislation to stop the health law from functioning. Indeed, he could do much of it with a stroke of a pen.

Trump “absolutely, through executive action, could have tremendous interference to the point of literally stopping a train on its tracks,” said Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of law and health policy at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

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Donald Trump has added to his healthcare plan a “high-risk pool” for sick enrollees — a traditional Republican idea long dismissed by Democrats.
The unannounced change in the Republican presidential nominee’s healthcare plan comes as a bullet point in a new healthcare page on his website.
The new bullet point reads: “Work with states to establish high-risk pools to ensure access to coverage for individuals who have not maintained continuous coverage.”
High-risk pools offer coverage for sick people that otherwise could be denied coverage for having a pre-existing condition if ObamaCare’s protections were repealed, as Trump proposes.
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Last week, the comptroller general — the government’s chief accountability officer — issued an official statement that the administration has been sending unlawful payments to insurance companies through the ACA’s reinsurance program. These payments have totaled $3 billion thus far and have forced taxpayers to finance a larger part of insurers’ most expensive enrollees’ claims.

The U.S. House of Representatives filed suit against the administration for unlawful payments through another ACA program. These payments are to insurers for them to make plans more attractive by reducing enrollees’ deductibles and cost-sharing amounts. Congress never appropriated funds, yet the administration has paid insurers at least $10 billion through this program thus far.

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The Obama administration is worried that insurers bailing out of the health law’s markets may prompt their customers to drop out, too. So it plans to match affected consumers with remaining insurance companies.

The hope is to keep people covered, but there’s concern that the government’s match-making will create confusion and even some disappointed customers.

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Tennessee is ground zero for ObamaCare’s nationwide implosion. Late last month the state insurance commissioner, Julie Mix McPeak, approved premium increases of up to 62% in a bid to save the exchange set up under the Affordable Care Act. “I would characterize the exchange market in Tennessee as very near collapse,” she said.

Then last week BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee announced it would leave three of the state’s largest exchange markets—Nashville, Memphis and Knoxville.

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Republicans in Congress are plotting ways to block the Obama administration from paying insurance companies hundreds of millions of dollars as part of an ObamaCare program.

GOP lawmakers say they are looking at “a dozen” options — including a possible provision in the year-end spending bill — to prevent the administration from using an obscure fund within the Treasury Department to pay out massive settlements to insurers.

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