Medicaid spending and enrollment has skyrocketed in recent years, crowding out resources for all other state priorities. The number of people dependent on Medicaid has more than doubled since 2000, with nearly 75 million individuals currently enrolled in the program. Nowhere is this growth more evident than among able-bodied adults. Nearly 28 million able-bodied adults…

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Vice President Mike Pence is exerting growing influence over the American health care system, overseeing the appointments of more than a half-dozen allies and former aides to positions driving the White House’s health agenda. On Monday President Donald Trump nominated Alex Azar, a former Indianapolis-based drug executive and longtime Pence supporter as HHS secretary. If…

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As Open Enrollment for 2018 coverage gets underway, consumers who have health coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace are again receiving renewal notices from their health insurers.  Though the insurer renewal notices are based on the same model notice required in the past, this year for many consumers, it may be causing significant…

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The tax-reform bill that Senate Republicans are releasing Thursday does not repeal ObamaCare’s individual insurance mandate, though the provision could be added down the line, GOP senators said. Senators leaving a briefing about the legislation said repealing the mandate is not in the initial text of the legislation, but cautioned that the issue is still…

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More than 600,000 people signed up last week for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, significantly beating the pace of prior years as consumers defied President Trump’s assertion that the marketplace was collapsing. In a report on the first four days of open enrollment, the Trump administration said Thursday, 601,462 people selected health plans…

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The Senate GOP tax bill will retain a key deduction for qualified medical expenses that was excluded from the House version, according to a Republican senator on the Senate Finance Committee. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) told reporters that the deduction will remain in the initial version of legislation the Senate is set to unveil today. “I think…

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If you were deliberately trying to design the most arbitrary, painful and pointless tax possible, how would you go about it? First, you would structure it to inflate the cost of an essential product. Then, you’d create exemptions so vast that only 5% of taxpayers were subject to it. You might even ensure that it…

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Uncertainty over the future of the Affordable Care Act was a challenge for insurers and state regulators as they prepared for the 2018 plan year. Various insurers exited or reduced service areas in the health insurance marketplaces, while others threatened exits or delayed participation decisions. In several states, some or all counties seemed likely to…

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Since the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplaces opened in 2014, there have been a number of changes in insurance participation as companies entered and exited states and also changed their footprint within states. Our earlier analyses of insurer participation and some notable company exits can be found here.  Note that we consider affiliated insurers serving the same areas as…

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Republicans in Congress are plowing ahead on tax reform, and one obstacle is the complexity of Senate budget rules that limit how much taxes can be cut. The good news is that for once Washington’s fiscal fictions could be deployed to improve policy by repealing ObamaCare’s individual mandate as part of tax reform. The Senate…

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