A coalition of policy experts from conservative think tanks and advocacy groups is quietly working to spur Congress to take another shot at overhauling Obamacare before the midterm elections.

The group, which includes former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), has members from the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the Goldwater Institute who have met weekly since Republicans last gave up on trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They have met with Republican congressional aides and White House staff to discuss their ideas for turning the health law into a block grant program meant to give states far more control over health insurance regulations.

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The conservative dream of complete Obamacare repeal may be mostly dead, as Vox’s Dylan Scott suggested early this week, but as fans of The Princess Bride know, there’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead.

The Hill reports that, in an effort to keep their repeal chances from expiring completely, conservative groups led by the Heritage Foundation, the Galen Institute and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) are hoping to issue a new Obamacare replacement plan this month.

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Two of Virginia’s ObamaCare insurers are requesting significant premium hikes for 2019, according to initial filings released Friday.

Both Cigna and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield cited policies advocated by the Trump administration, including the repeal of ObamaCare’s individual mandate, as part of its justifications for the increases.

Cigna is proposing an average premium increase of 15 percent for its 103,264 customers in Virginia, with a range of increases from 6.4 percent to 40 percent.

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This fall’s midterm election ballot just got a little longer in Utah. In mid-April, progressive activists announced that they’d gathered enough signatures to force a November referendum on Medicaid expansion.

Utah isn’t the only red state flirting with extending free government health insurance to able-bodied, childless adults. Within weeks, activists in Idaho will surpass the number of signatures required for their own ballot referendum. Groups in Nebraska just launched a signature-gathering campaign, too.

If voters choose to expand Medicaid, they’ll surely regret it.

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A common argument from health care price control advocates is that there is a significant price differential for health care services between the U.S. and other developed countries, and that these differences drive higher per capita spending in the U.S. versus developed countries. While the simple answer may be “yes” to the question of whether health care services are higher in the U.S. than in other developed countries, there are other factors that need to be considered in order to fully understand why these differences exist.Several factors can influence how much a nation spends on health care, including overall utilization of services and technology, types of professionals used to deliver care, the use of biopharmaceuticals to offset more expensive health care services, and the underlying health status of the population. These and other influencers can have a direct impact on a country’s health care spending patterns.

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House lawmakers quickly voted to continue New Hampshire’s expanded Medicaid program Thursday, spending almost no time debating one of the session’s biggest policy issues.

The current program uses Medicaid funds to purchase private health plans for about 50,000 low-income residents, but it will expire this year if lawmakers don’t reauthorize it. The bill approved Thursday would continue the program for five years but change its structure to a more cost-effective managed care model. The plan also would impose new work requirements on enrollees and use 5 percent of liquor revenues to cover the state’s cost as federal funding decreases.

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  • Consumers need relief from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA),
    which is not working as Congress intended. Allowing short-term plans to offer 12-month
    contract terms and renewal guarantees would provide protection and relief to millions of
    consumers struggling with the cost of coverage under the ACA.
  • Guaranteed-renewable individual-market plans provide coverage for patients with highcost
    medical conditions that is equally or more secure than employer-sponsored
    coverage.

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Supporters of Medicaid expansion sued Maine on Monday to force state officials to implement the voter-approved law that has been held up by Gov. Paul LePage, who has stalled it for months while imploring the Legislature to first fund it on his terms.

In doing so, they put Attorney General Janet Mills on the hot seat, with a lawyer saying the suit will end quickly if the Democratic gubernatorial candidate and frequent foe of the Republican governor agrees with them because she controls the state’s legal representation.

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Idaho is poised to allow a vote on Medicaid expansion after an activist group said it has collected enough signatures to put it on the November ballot.

Reclaim Idaho said it has collected the required 56,192 signatures needed to place the measure on the ballot. The deadline to turn in the signatures is Monday.

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Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that he will soon unveil a new Obamacare block-grant repeal proposal, arguing that the new plan will lower premiums and increase the number of people with health insurance.

Santorum, along with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), created a new Obamacare block grant repeal approach known as Graham-Cassidy. Graham-Cassidy almost garnered enough support to pass through the Senate last September. Now that Republicans have managed to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate, Republicans can capitalize on that momentum to fully repeal and replace Obamacare in 2018.

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