Promising to build on the Affordable Care Act, a coalition of influential interest groups announced a new legislative push Thursday for a patchwork of measures that aim to make healthcare in California cheaper and more accessible.
Advocates touted a slate of proposals, including expanding Medi-Cal access to adults without legal status and increasing subsidies to those buying insurance on the Covered California exchange, as priorities for this legislative session.
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The only consistent characteristic of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is its ability to generate litigation. The gift that keeps on giving for Obamacare opponents seems to defy common law doctrines curbing the practices of champerty and maintenance (frivolous lawsuits).
Last month 20 state attorneys general and two governors launched the latest lawsuit in federal district court in Texas, arguing that the upcoming repeal of tax penalties for the ACA’s individual mandate, as of January 2019, means that the entire law has become unconstitutional (or at least a number of its related insurance regulation provisions).
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The Trump administration rejected on Thursday Idaho’s plan to allow the sale of stripped-down, low-cost health insurance violates the ACA. The 2010 statute “remains the law, and we have a duty to enforce and uphold the law,” Seema Verma, the administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said in a letter to the governor of Idaho, C.L. Otter. While rejecting Idaho’s plan in its current form, Ms. Verma encouraged the state to keep trying, and she suggested that, “with certain modifications,” its proposal might be acceptable.
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A state Senate panel Monday backed legislation that requires New Jerseyans to buy insurance or pay a fee — a mandate the Trump administration will end in 2019.
The move is a step toward protecting the health insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
The federal landmark health care law requires individuals to buy a policy if they do not have one or face a fine at tax time. The law was meant to ensure younger and healthier people who might otherwise forgo insurance will participate in the insurance market and share costs.
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Arkansas on Monday became the third U.S. state to require that Medicaid recipients work or participate in employment activities as a condition of receiving health insurance as the Trump administration continues to approve state requests that fundamentally change the 50-year-old program.
Arkansas’s waiver would require beneficiaries to work or participate in job training or job search activities for at least 80 hours per month as a condition of receiving Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor and disabled. Those who fail to meet the requirements for three months of a plan year will not be able to re-enroll until the following plan year.
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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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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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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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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