A provision of the Affordable Care Act that allows insurers to charge smokers higher premiums may have discouraged smokers from signing up for insurance, undercutting a major goal of the law, according to a study published this month. The surcharges, of up to 50 percent over nonsmokers’ premiums, also showed no sign of encouraging people to…

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The Republican party’s 2016 platform, unveiled Monday, echoes many of the proposals included in the health care plan House Republicans laid out last month. The platform calls for the full repeal of the Affordable Care Act and for state control of insurance markets. It backs selling insurance across state lines and states that insurance should…

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State and federal officials have negotiated a deal to delay a federal policy that threatened to destabilize health insurance rates at small businesses across Massachusetts. Governor Charlie Baker’s administration said Tuesday that the agreement will postpone for one year a piece of the Affordable Care Act that requires a change in the way small businesses’…

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Top insurer UnitedHealth Group said Tuesday its 2017 earnings will benefit as it mostly exits the ObamaCare exchanges, its worst-performing business line. UnitedHealth reported second-quarter earnings of $1.96 per share, up 13% from a year earlier, handily beating analysts’ estimates of $1.89. Still, the company just slightly raised its full-year earnings outlook to $7.80-$7.95 a share from $7.75-$7.95,…

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The Republican leading the House caucus’ campaign arm said the party’s presumptive nominee will work with the caucus to replace the Affordable Care Act if elected in November. “House Republicans have put forward patient-centered health care that will be affordable for families,” Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said Monday in a speech at the Republican National Convention. “We’re…

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California’s Obamacare customers can expect a hefty increase in their monthly health insurance premiums next year. Covered California, the state’s Obamacare marketplace, released proposed premiums Tuesday morning, and the statewide average increase for 2017 will be 13.2 percent. Peter Lee, the agency’s executive director, cited factors including increased medical costs and the end of a…

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Fifteen of the health insurance cooperatives started with federal dollars through the Affordable Care Act have failed — four of them just this month — saddling taxpayers with an estimated $1.7 billion in bad loans. Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative is one of seven still standing. But the next few months will determine whether Common Ground,…

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The Trump health plan reportedly would make 18 million people uninsured by 2017. But by entirely repealing Obamacare and all its attendant taxes and regulations, the plan also is expected to reduce net federal savings over 10 years of $583 billion and reduce premiums in the non-group market by at least 20%. Progressives surely would be aghast…

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For several years, the Obama administration has urged state insurance regulators to use tools provided by the Affordable Care Act to hold down health care premiums. Now federal officials will have a chance to practice what they preach as they confront big increases proposed in several states where they are responsible for reviewing rates. Federal…

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Until now, health care hasn’t been a big part of Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency. But conventions are about more than the nominee, and Republicans are likely to have something to say about issues including Obamacare, abortion, and perhaps even medical research. Here are the five biggest things to watch in health and medicine: Will Pence…

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