Short-term health insurance is sometimes scoffed at as “sham insurance.” But to those who turn to it in need, this kind of insurance offers vital protection from unexpected medical costs. The Trump administration’s plan to extend how long it lasts makes sense.

Short-term plans offer temporary coverage for many of the same things standard health plans do. They don’t, however, cover things like preventive care, maternity care, or pre-existing medical conditions. Short-term plans do not meet the coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but they have long offered a meaningful measure of protection to people who need to fill a gap in health insurance coverage.

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Proposed changes to Arkansas’ Medicaid expansion program would reduce its cost by more than $356 million in the fiscal year that starts July 1, according to state Department of Human Services estimates.

The estimates include $307 million in federal and state funds saved by restricting eligibility to people with incomes of up to the poverty level, instead of 138 percent of the poverty level.

Imposing a work requirement on many of those remaining on the program would save an additional $49.4 million, the department calculated.

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Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan have announced a nonprofit initiative to address excessive spending on health care, starting with their own million or so employees. They can expect many suggestions. Here’s one: The three CEOs— Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon, whom I’ll call “BB&D”—could do a huge service by describing the depth and nature of the cost problem, something politicians have long failed to do.

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After spending most of 2017 defending the Affordable Care Act from GOP attacks, a growing number of Democrats believe the law’s reliance on private insurance markets won’t be enough and the party should focus instead on expanding popular government programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

The emerging strategy — which is gaining traction among liberal policy experts, activists and Democratic politicians — is less sweeping than the “single-payer” government-run system that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) made a cornerstone of his 2016 presidential campaign.

These Democrats see the expansion of existing public programs as a more pragmatic and politically viable way to help Americans struggling with rising costs and correct the shortcomings of the 2010 law, often called Obamacare.

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Having failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, congressional Republicans now want to create a new corporate welfare program to save it. Here’s a better idea: Congress and the administration should give states more latitude to clean up the mess—at no additional cost to the federal government. That is a central recommendation of a new study co-authored by Doug Badger, Senior Fellow at the Galen Institute, and Rea Hederman, Vice President of Policy at The Buckeye Institute. The study examines congressional and federal proposals that surfaced throughout last year in the broader context of the “repeal and replace” debate. The most promising ideas to repair broken insurance markets emanated not from Washington, but from the states. Read the full Mercatus Center study here.

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Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.), a Republican who has been one of ObamaCare’s most vocal opponents, signed a bill Tuesday that would shore up the law’s insurance markets.

The bill would authorize the state to apply for a federal waiver to offer a reinsurance program covering 80 percent of medical claims costing between $50,000 and $250,000.

The program would cost $200 million, with the federal government paying 75 percent of the costs, and is meant to lower premiums for everyone else by paying for claims filed by the sickest, most expensive patients.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders isn’t alone in his adoration for universal healthcare. According to one recent survey, 56 percent of U.S. doctors are at least somewhat supportive of government-run healthcare.

Their support is somewhat understandable. Every insurer has different administrative requirements, covers different therapies at different levels, and reimburses on a different timeline. Medicare and Medicaid complicate matters further. Dealing with only one insurer — the government — may sound appealing.

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Democratic and Republican states are moving in opposite directions on health policy, leaving Americans with starkly divergent options for care depending on where they live.

The Trump administration and congressional Republicans, by easing many of the Affordable Care Act’s nationwide requirements after failing last year to repeal the entire law, are effectively turning major components of health policy over to the states.

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The latest lawsuit against Obamacare poses little immediate danger to the health care law — but it could look a lot more potent if the balance of the Supreme Court changes in the next two years.

The case may look like a long shot, given that the courts have upheld the health law more than once. But proponents of Obamacare have notoriously underestimated the stream of legal challenges against the Affordable Care Act, and the staying power of the conservatives intent on scrapping the 2010 law.

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Twenty states have filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over Obamacare’s individual mandate — again.

Wisconsin, Texas and several other red states claim in the lawsuit filed today that since Congress repealed the individual mandate’s tax penalty for not having coverage, that means the mandate itself — and the whole health care law — is invalid.

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