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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Sen. Bernie Sanders isn’t alone in his adoration for universal healthcare. According to one recent survey, 56 percent of U.S. doctors are at least somewhat supportive of government-run healthcare.
Their support is somewhat understandable. Every insurer has different administrative requirements, covers different therapies at different levels, and reimburses on a different timeline. Medicare and Medicaid complicate matters further. Dealing with only one insurer — the government — may sound appealing.
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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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The latest lawsuit against Obamacare poses little immediate danger to the health care law — but it could look a lot more potent if the balance of the Supreme Court changes in the next two years.
The case may look like a long shot, given that the courts have upheld the health law more than once. But proponents of Obamacare have notoriously underestimated the stream of legal challenges against the Affordable Care Act, and the staying power of the conservatives intent on scrapping the 2010 law.
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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Wisconsin, Texas and several other red states claim in the lawsuit filed today that since Congress repealed the individual mandate’s tax penalty for not having coverage, that means the mandate itself — and the whole health care law — is invalid.
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Over a 6-month period, the OIG found in California:
For our sample of 150 beneficiaries, California made Medicaid payments on behalf of 112 eligible beneficiaries. However, for the remaining 38 beneficiaries, California made payments on behalf of ineligible beneficiaries (e.g., a woman who did not meet eligibility requirements for the newly eligible group because she was pregnant) and potentially ineligible beneficiaries (e.g., a beneficiary who may not have met the residency requirement). On the basis of our sample results, we estimated that California made Medicaid payments of $738.2 million ($628.8 million Federal share) on behalf of 366,078 ineligible beneficiaries and $416.5 million ($402.4 million Federal share) on behalf of 79,055 potentially ineligible beneficiaries. (These estimates represent Medicaid payments for fee-for service, managed-care, the drug treatment program, and mental health services.) These deficiencies occurred because California’s eligibility determination systems lacked the necessary system functionality and eligibility caseworkers made errors. We also identified a weakness in California’s procedures related to determining eligibility of individuals who may not have intended to apply for Medicaid.
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Through its regime of subsidies, penalties, and federal regulations, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) made health insurance affordable to millions of people who were uninsured because they earned too little or had preexisting conditions. But it also made insurance more expensive for millions who used to be able to afford it. Between December 2013 and January 2017, average premiums more than doubled, and individual markets were in turmoil.
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I come to bury IPAB, not to praise it.
Like Brutus and his co-conspirators wielding the knife against Julius Caesar, the budget deal Congress passed in the early morning hours of February 9 put to death an idea whose time apparently never came and, now never will. The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), created in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is history.
It is a rare moment when Republicans and Democrats agree on something they don’t like about the ACA. Behind IPAB’s demise is a belief that Congress shouldn’t delegate its powers to determine Medicare’s rules and a massive political force that reinforced that belief.
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The most significant federal entitlement reform in our lifetime was a little noticed provision that Democrats included in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The provision garnered almost no attention from the mainstream media or even from most conservative commentators. Yet according to the Medicare Trustees report that followed, this one provision eliminated $52 trillion of unfunded federal government liability – an amount that was more than three times the size of the US economy.
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Here’s what the Department of Health and Human Services could do:
- Relax rules so companies of all sizes can take advantage of HRAs. Medium-sized and large employers want the same option of setting up HRAs for workers to buy ACA coverage, said Chris Condeluci, who worked on the ACA as a Senate GOP staff attorney.
- Now that the individual mandate has been repealed, the administration could open the door for companies “to provide funds to buy noncompliant coverage,” said Gary Claxton, a vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation.
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