The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires insurers to offer plans with reduced deductibles, copayments, and other means of cost sharing to some of the people who purchase plans through the marketplaces established by that legislation. The size of those reductions depends on those people’s income. In turn, insurers receive federal payments arranged by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to cover the costs they incur because of that requirement. At the request of the House Democratic Leader and the House Democratic Whip, the Congressional Budget Office and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have estimated the effects of terminating those payments for cost-sharing reductions (CSRs). In particular, the agencies analyzed what would happen under this policy: By the end of this month, it is known that CSR payments will continue through December 2017 but not thereafter.
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A group of liberal and conservative health policy experts argues that critical matters relating to health reform must be addressed quickly and that bipartisan approaches are possible. They offer five recommendations for near-term action to protect coverage and health care access for people who are relying on them now while providing new flexibility for the states to offer more affordable, attractive policies. Signatories include: Joseph Antos, Stuart Butler, Lanhee Chen, John McDonough, Ron Pollack, Sara Rosenbaum, Grace-Marie Turner, Vikki Wachino, and Gail Wilensky.

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A majority of cities—71 percent—will see Obamacare premiums rise by double-digits next year as more health insurers drop out of the exchanges, according to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The foundation analyzed data in the 20 states and in Washington, D.C. that had submitted rate filings to examine how much premiums were rising and how many insurers were participating on the exchanges.

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The Trump administration is giving health insurance companies more time to calculate price increases for 2018 because of uncertainty caused by the president’s threat to cut off crucial subsidies paid to insurers on behalf of millions of low-income people.

Federal health officials said the deadline for insurers to file their rate requests would be extended by nearly three weeks, to Sept. 5.

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The ACA has expanded funding for Medicaid services, but it has also to an even greater degree expanded the pool of people eligible. It used to be that Medicaid did a fair job of providing for the truly disabled and needy. Now it does a lousy job of serving more people. My wife and I have an adult child living at home and will for the rest of our lives. Please join me in supporting the repeal of the ACA and put Medicaid funding back in the pot for the truly needy and disabled in our society. Our daughter will thank you.

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Like the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) or not, it’s impossible to deny that many exchanges — and consumers — are facing down a crisis. According to HHS, the number of participating insurers is down 38 percent this year. Just this month, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield announced it was leaving Nevada’s exchanges, and insurance companies nationwide are struggling with uncertainty over whether the Trump administration will pay out billions in expected federal subsidies.

Most worrisome is that the individual market itself appears to be shrinking, and 2.4 million Americans will have only one available insurance option. Average rate increases are, for the second straight year, expected to be in the double-digit range in 2018.

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Republicans in Congress haven’t repealed or replaced Obama Care, but the Trump Administration still has an obligation to help Americans facing higher premiums and fewer choices. One incremental improvement would be rescinding regulations on temporary health-insurance plans.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) this summer sent a letter to the Health and Human Services Department about an Obama rule on short-term, limited-duration health insurance plans, which as the name suggests offer coverage for certain periods, often insuring against hospitalizations or other unexpected events. A person could hold such a plan for 364 days, but a rule issued last year limited the duration of the policy to a mere 90 days, effective April 1.

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Conservatives in the House hope to revive the failed effort to gut the Affordable Care Act with a long-shot drive to force Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) to hold a vote to simply repeal the health-care law without a replacement. Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus want to seize control of the health-care debate by petitioning Republicans to hold a vote on a version of a repeal bill that passed the House in 2015.

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Nearly 8 in 10 Americans say President Donald Trump should be trying to make the health law work, according to poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation. This includes large majorities of Democrats (95 percent) as well as half of Republicans (52 percent) and President Trump’s supporters (51 percent).

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Wait, I thought Obamacare was supposed to solve the problem of access to affordable health coverage—especially for older Americans!  Are Democrats now saying their signature legislation has made the problem worse?

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) has introduced the “Medicare at 55 Act” to allow Americans aged 55-64 to buy into the Medicare health insurance program. Seven other Democrats are original co-sponsors of the legislation.

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