Yes. They could do it. But only if they accept two principles:
- All the Obamacare money must be used for health care – it can’t be used to cut taxes for the rich or for special interests.
- There must be a clear and sustainable path to lower premiums and better access to care.
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On Friday, the administration released a 44-page blueprint for executive action on drug pricing entitled “American Patients First.” The blueprint represents the most comprehensive, serious, and thorough effort by any presidential administration to address the problem of high prescription drug prices.The Trump plan involves two categories of reform: things the administration can do unilaterally, and things that it will call on Congress to enact. Friday’s release focused mainly on unilateral actions, but the Congressional piece is arguably more important, and has gone underappreciated by many observers.
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After years of losses, the U.S. health insurance industry figured out how make money from Obamacare last year, a new analysis shows.
The secret? Raising their prices.
The average cost of health insurance plans sold in the individual market climbed about 22 percent in 2017, as insurers boosted premiums well above what they spent on medical care. That left many in a profitable position for the first time since the Affordable Care Act went into effect, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report released Thursday.
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First Charlie Gard and now Alfie Evans. These are babies who, though verbally silent, still gave clarion warnings to proponents of single-payer health care: The government — not my parents — is in charge of my life.
Charlie Gard was born in August 2015 with a rare genetic disorder that carried a poor long-term prognosis. In July 2017, little Charlie was just 23 months of age and on a ventilator. Over the objections of his parents, British doctors decided to withdraw life-sustaining care. According to British Courts, the National Health Service (NHS), the country’s single-payer system, is the ultimate medical decision maker — not the family. Ventilator support was withdrawn and Charlie died.
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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Wednesday he is working on a new version of his ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill and has not given up on efforts to do away with the law despite Republicans’ failure last year. “I haven’t given up,” Graham said. “Will there be another effort to replace ObamaCare with a state-centric plan? I hope so.”
The effort appears to have little, if any, chance of passing this year. Republican leadership has made clear that it has moved on from the ObamaCare repeal effort, and the GOP has an even slimmer margin in the Senate than they did last year when they failed to win enough votes for a bill.
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Oregon’s seven Obamacare insurers are asking for an average nearly 8 percent rate increase for 2019, with some plans calling for hikes of as much as 16 percent.
Of the seven insurers selling plans on the individual market and the law’s exchanges, six plan on raising rates next year between 5 percent and 16 percent. The other insurer aims to reduce rates by nearly 10 percent. Insurers that are proposing rate increases point to the repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty in 2019 as a reason.
The news comes as Democrats and Obamacare allies are attempting to tie the GOP to any rate increases because of changes the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress have made to the law.
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Democrats are confidently running on Obamacare for the first time in a decade.
They’ve got a unified message blaming Republicans for “sabotaging” the health care law, leading to a cascade of sky-high insurance premiums that will come just before the November midterm elections. They’re rolling out ads featuring people helped by the law. And Tuesday, they’re starting a campaign to amplify each state’s premium increases — and tie those to GOP decisions.
Medicaid has made major headlines over the last year and for good reason. The welfare program originally intended to provide medical assistance to poor children, seniors and individuals with disabilities has expanded to include more and more able-bodied adults.
A program initially intended for the truly needy now covers 28 million able-bodied adults and costs taxpayers more than $500 billion a year.
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New York and Minnesota officials have settled a lawsuit against the Trump administration over its decision to slash federal funding for the states’ health plan programs that cover certain low-income people.
A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the case after the HHS agreed to pay $151.9 million to New York and $17.3 million to Minnesota by May 14 to fund the states’ Basic Health Programs, which together cover 800,000 people.
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Republican Sen. John Kennedy (La.) on Thursday said Medicaid work requirements should be mandatory for states, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should take the lead to make it happen.
During a hearing on the HHS budget, Kennedy said many Medicaid beneficiaries who aren’t working “would like to know the dignity of work” noting he would like to see HHS work with Congress to put together a program that would institute a mandatory requirement that Medicaid beneficiaries work 20 hours a week.
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