House Republicans have estimates from the Congressional Budget Office on how their health care plan, released Wednesday, would affect the federal deficit. They’re just not releasing them. The 37-page white paper doesn’t include cost and savings estimates, according to a senior GOP aide, because Republicans may want to break up the plan into smaller bills and…

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In presidential politics, party professionals on both sides of the aisle live in fear of the dreaded “October surprise” that can compromise their candidates’ chances. In 2016, the joker in the deck may come the first week of November — and it won’t be a surprise, just a shock: Fueled by the requirements of the…

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Minnesota’s largest health insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, has decided to stop selling health plans to individuals and families in Minnesota starting next year. The insurance carrier’s parent company, which goes by the same name, will continue to sell a much more limited offering on the individual market through its Blue Plus…

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Medical costs will continue to grow at a mostly flat rate next year, PwC’s Health Research Institute projects in a report released today. Costs will grow at roughly 6.5 percent in 2017, in line with 2016 trends, the report says. Growing use of convenience care and increased access to behavioral health services will increase costs, while an increased number of high performance…

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ObamaCare officials are partnering with the IRS to help drive down uninsured rates among young people. For the first time, the federal tax agency is working with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to reach out directly to taxpayers who paid the required fee last year because they lacked coverage. About 45 percent…

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John McCain is running for reelection like it’s 2010. The Arizona Republican has made his opposition to Obamacare — which dominated Senate races across the country six years ago — a central point of his campaign, by all accounts, the toughest reelection fight of his career. He’s betting that shrinking coverage options and premium increases…

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A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation says the cost of the “benchmark” plan (the second-lowest-cost silver plan in a market, which is the price used to calculate subsidies) will go up 10 percent this year, double the rate at which prices increased last year. The lowest-cost silver plans are also seeing substantial hikes.…

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Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky promised big changes were coming to Medicaid — and on Wednesday, he unveiled his plan. Bevin said the plan, “Kentucky Helping to Engage and Achieve Long Term Health” (or Kentucky HEALTH), will ensure the program’s long-term fiscal stability. Bevin’s predecessor, Steve Beshear, expanded Medicaid in Kentucky to adults making as…

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Is the new House Republican plan to replace Obamacare politically viable? Two factors weigh in the plan’s favor: First, after the administration sold Obamacare as a program for middle-class families who were anxious about losing their coverage if something went wrong, Democrats delivered a plan that made a lot of middle-class families worse off, and…

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The three key questions to ask of any Medicaid financing proposal that ends the open-ended federal reimbursement are: 1) what is the level of federal commitment? 2) how are the funds divided among the states? and 3) how are state incentives affected? Sensible Medicaid reform must accomplish two aims: reduce the unsustainable trajectory of federal…

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