A federal judge denied the Obama administration’s request to pause a risk-corridor case brought by Portland, Ore.-based insurer Moda Health until courts rule on similar lawsuits.
Moda Health sued the government in June for $191 million in payments owed under the Affordable Care Act’s risk-corridor program for 2014 and 2015. The CMS has paid just $11.3 million so far, and recent data from the CMS further shows that Moda is set to receive only $2.9 million on top of that from the funds collected under the program for 2015.
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Republicans on Capitol Hill are grappling with the likelihood that they will need Democratic support to pass parts of any plan replacing the Affordable Care Act, setting up a complex legislative battle over the law’s future.
President-elect Donald Trump is expected in his first days in office to take executive action voiding parts of the health law that the administration has discretion to change. Soon after that, lawmakers likely would start on their efforts to repeal and replace the law.
With full control of Congress and the White House, Republicans have anticipated being able to repeal the law using a special budget maneuver that would allow them to get around a filibuster by Democrats in the Senate.
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Congressional Republicans are setting up their own, self-imposed deadline to make good on their vow to replace the Affordable Care Act. With buy-in from Donald Trump’s transition team, GOP leaders on both sides of the Capitol are coalescing around a plan to vote to repeal the law in early 2017 — but delay the effective date for that repeal for as long as three years.
“We’re talking about a three-year transition now that we actually have a president who’s likely to sign the repeal into the law. People are being, understandably cautious, to make sure nobody’s dropped through the cracks,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas).
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The new direction of American health care should be fully consumer driven, empowering individuals to be the surveyors and purchasers of their care. If President-elect Trump and Rep. Tom Price, Trump’s HHS pick, want to make the most of this short window, they should keep four central reforms in mind: 1) Provide a path to catastrophic health insurance for all Americans. 2) Accommodate people with pre-existing health conditions. 3) Allow broad access to health-savings accounts. 4) Deregulate the market for medical services.
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Price is of the view that we are going to end up subsidizing the health care of the poor and the indigent one way or the other. We can do it through cost shifting and subsidies conferred on impersonal hospital bureaucracies or we can give the money to the people and let the bureaucracies compete for their patronage. The Price tax credit would be refundable and it would vary by age. But unlike the Obamacare credits, Price’s credit would be the same, regardless of income.
That last feature is huge. The most important reason why the exchanges have been so dysfunctional is the need to verify income.
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