First Charlie Gard and now Alfie Evans. These are babies who, though verbally silent, still gave clarion warnings to proponents of single-payer health care: The government — not my parents — is in charge of my life.
Charlie Gard was born in August 2015 with a rare genetic disorder that carried a poor long-term prognosis. In July 2017, little Charlie was just 23 months of age and on a ventilator. Over the objections of his parents, British doctors decided to withdraw life-sustaining care. According to British Courts, the National Health Service (NHS), the country’s single-payer system, is the ultimate medical decision maker — not the family. Ventilator support was withdrawn and Charlie died.
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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Wednesday he is working on a new version of his ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill and has not given up on efforts to do away with the law despite Republicans’ failure last year. “I haven’t given up,” Graham said. “Will there be another effort to replace ObamaCare with a state-centric plan? I hope so.”
The effort appears to have little, if any, chance of passing this year. Republican leadership has made clear that it has moved on from the ObamaCare repeal effort, and the GOP has an even slimmer margin in the Senate than they did last year when they failed to win enough votes for a bill.
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Oregon’s seven Obamacare insurers are asking for an average nearly 8 percent rate increase for 2019, with some plans calling for hikes of as much as 16 percent.
Of the seven insurers selling plans on the individual market and the law’s exchanges, six plan on raising rates next year between 5 percent and 16 percent. The other insurer aims to reduce rates by nearly 10 percent. Insurers that are proposing rate increases point to the repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty in 2019 as a reason.
The news comes as Democrats and Obamacare allies are attempting to tie the GOP to any rate increases because of changes the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress have made to the law.
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Democrats are confidently running on Obamacare for the first time in a decade.
They’ve got a unified message blaming Republicans for “sabotaging” the health care law, leading to a cascade of sky-high insurance premiums that will come just before the November midterm elections. They’re rolling out ads featuring people helped by the law. And Tuesday, they’re starting a campaign to amplify each state’s premium increases — and tie those to GOP decisions.
Medicaid has made major headlines over the last year and for good reason. The welfare program originally intended to provide medical assistance to poor children, seniors and individuals with disabilities has expanded to include more and more able-bodied adults.
A program initially intended for the truly needy now covers 28 million able-bodied adults and costs taxpayers more than $500 billion a year.
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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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Republican Sen. John Kennedy (La.) on Thursday said Medicaid work requirements should be mandatory for states, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should take the lead to make it happen.
During a hearing on the HHS budget, Kennedy said many Medicaid beneficiaries who aren’t working “would like to know the dignity of work” noting he would like to see HHS work with Congress to put together a program that would institute a mandatory requirement that Medicaid beneficiaries work 20 hours a week.
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President Trump on Friday outlined his long-awaited plan to lower drug prices, stopping short of a full-scale assault on the pharmaceutical industry while floating several ideas that could give companies heartburn.
Trump stepped back from the some of the sweeping proposals he offered on the campaign trail, like having Medicare negotiate drug prices, but still leveled pointed criticism at the industry.
“The drug lobby is making an absolute fortune at the expense of American consumers,” Trump said in remarks from the White House Rose Garden. “We are putting American patients first.”
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Republicans have often won support in recent elections by promising to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This year, Democrats hope to turn the tables by pushing the opposite goal—not just keeping the health law, but expanding government’s role in health care.
The tactic, which carries political risk as well as opportunity, is playing out in places such as Minnesota, a state won narrowly by Hillary Clinton in 2016 that is facing a governor’s race, two Senate contests and five close House races. Democrats need to gain 23 House seats to retake the chamber, so the state is critical.
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Americans should be able to reap the rewards of living in the country that has brought the world more new drugs than any other. President Trump has made fixing high drug prices a top priority. He will give a speech on the topic today. HHS is taking on this challenge focused on 1) increasing competition in drug markets, 2) giving Medicare Part D plans better tools to negotiate prices, 3) creating new incentives for drug manufacturers to lower list prices, and 4) new options to lower patients’ out-of-pocket spending.