Articles on the implementation of ObamaCare.
Businesses are pushing back on the Internal Revenue Service’s decision to begin enforcing the Affordable Care Act’s employer insurance mandate, challenging penalties that run into the millions and asserting the agency is wrong to impose the fines.
The ACA imposes a penalty on employers with more than 50 workers who don’t provide qualifying coverage to employees, but the fines weren’t initially enforced. In November, the IRS said it would begin assessing penalties, starting with companies that failed to comply in 2015, when parts of the employer mandate first kicked in.
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Nevada is taking steps toward leaving the federal healthcare.gov and setting up a separate exchange operated by the state.
The Nevada Appeal reports that the Legislative Interim Finance Committee on Friday authorized state officials to spend $1 million to prepare a request for proposals and find a private provider.
Heather Korbulic, executive director of the state system, says changes are needed because healthcare.gov is steadily raising the rates it charges states that link their front-end systems to the federal exchange.
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Gov. Holcomb (R-IN) joined U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar at Eskenazi Hospital on Friday to announce Indiana gained federal approval to continue its Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP).
The plan, which the state calls a successful alternative to traditional Medicaid, has been approved through Dec. 2020.
This will allow the state to continue health coverage for more than 400,000 low-income adult Hoosiers.
The Healthy Indiana Plan was created in 2007 under Gov. Mitch Daniels. The program was expanded in 2015 by then Gov. Mike Pence with a federal waiver to implement HIP as an alternative to traditional Medicaid expansion.
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States that run their own Affordable Care Act insurance marketplaces significantly outperformed the rest of the country in attracting consumers to sign up for health plans for 2018, according to enrollment tallies released Wednesday.
Overall enrollment stayed essentially level from the year before in the 11 states plus the District with state-based marketplaces, while sign-ups in states that rely on the ACA’s federal exchange fell, on average, by more than 5 percent. Five states with hybrid systems did best of all, according to a report compiled by the National Academy for State Health Policy.
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The House passed legislation Tuesday to ease the ObamaCare rule that requires restaurants, convenience stores and supermarkets to list the calorie count of each menu item before it’s set to take effect in May.
The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act, introduced by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), passed, 266-157, with the support of 32 Democrats.
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The Senate confirmed Alex Azar as secretary of Health and Human Services, installing him atop a department seeking a fresh start after a turbulent first year under the Trump administration. Azar cruised to confirmation Wednesday in a 55-43 vote, with six Senate Democrats — largely from red states — and Independent Angus King joining nearly all Republicans to back his candidacy.
A former pharmaceutical executive and twice-confirmed veteran of George W. Bush’s HHS, the 50-year-old nominee earned bipartisan respect in recent weeks for his familiarity with the sprawling agency and a stated desire to reset relations with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
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Key House Republicans are warming to a proposal aimed at bringing down ObamaCare premiums, raising the chances of legislative action this year to stabilize the health-care law.
House GOP aides and lobbyists say that top House Republicans are interested in funding what is known as reinsurance. The money could be included in a coming bipartisan government funding deal or in another legislative vehicle.
Any action from Republicans to stabilize ObamaCare would be a major departure from the party’s long crusade against the law, but after having failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act last year, the discussion is shifting.
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A growing number of mostly Republican-led states are rushing to follow Kentucky’s lead in requiring thousands of people on Medicaid to work or lose health coverage.
The governors of South Dakota, Alabama, Louisiana and South Carolina have said in recent weeks that they plan to pursue work requirements for their Medicaid programs, following the Trump administration’s release of guidelines for the concept in January.
“Whenever possible, we should always endeavor to help South Carolinians in need find their path to gainful employment and away from temporary assistance of government,” South Carolina GOP Gov. Henry McMaster tweeted Jan. 11, the same day federal officials announced the new guidance.
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President Donald Trump vowed Monday that his new health-care chief Alex Azar — a former top drug-company executive who raised prescription prices — is “going to get those prescription drug prices way down” as Azar was sworn in for his job.
“It’s doing to come rocketing down,” Trump said as Azar, 50, stood at his side in the White House before taking his oath as secretary of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department from Vice President Mike Pence.
“We have to get the prices of prescription drugs way down, and unravel the tangled web of special interests that are driving prices up for medicine, and are really hurting patients,” Trump said.
“And nobody knows that process better than Alex.”
A House committee voted Tuesday to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients, something Republicans are seeking as a precondition to expanding the health-care program to more low-income, uninsured Virginians. It was not clear how many of the state’s 1 million Medicaid recipients would be affected if the bill becomes law because the majority are children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with disabilities, all of whom would be exempt under the plan because they are considered to face some barrier to work.
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