Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, for instance, has officially endorsed a public insurance option, as have other Democrats running in swing districts in Kentucky and Illinois. Meanwhile, single-payer advocates have won Democratic congressional primaries in New York, Nebraska, Texas, and Pennsylvania, among other places.

. . .

Insurers on the District of Columbia’s Obamacare insurance exchange want to raise rates by nearly 15 percent in 2019, while Minnesota’s insurers propose to reduce rates by up to about 12 percent.

Insurers in Minnesota can take advantage of a reinsurance program in which the state helps subsidize the biggest insurance claims on Obamacare’s insurance exchanges. Efforts to create a federal reinsurance program ran aground in the Senate because of disagreements over abortion funding.

In Minnesota, all of the state’s five Obamacare insurers are asking for proposed rate reductions of 3 to 12 percent for certain plans. That is a major difference from the final rates for the 2018 coverage year, which ranged from a 16 to 32 percent hike.

. . .

Growth in state spending on the Medicaid program is expected to fall significantly in the short term, according to a new report by state budget officers.

The findings, published Thursday in a report from the National Association of State Budget Officers, or NASBO, show that state Medicaid spending is expected to carry a median growth rate of 4.5 percent in fiscal 2018, and then growth is projected to slow significantly in fiscal 2019, to a median growth rate of 1.5 percent. The organization uses governors’ budgets in making its assessments.

. . .

Last week was an amazing and unusual week at the Department of Justice, and it went largely unnoticed by the mainstream media. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, with the approval of President Trump, submitted court filings in two lawsuits agreeing that Obamacare will be unconstitutional as of Jan. 1, 2019, and that DACA is and always has been unlawful. Thus, DOJ will not defend Obamacare nor will it defend DACA on the merits.

Not since the Obama administration flipped its position on DOMA has the DOJ declined to defend something this important. And unlike the DOMA case, in both the Obamacare case and the DACA case, DOJ is relying on existing rulings from the Supreme Court and the 5th Circuit, respectively, in formulating its positions.

. . .

Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) signed a bill into law Thursday that will allow more people to sign up for health care coverage paid for by the Medicaid program. This is projected to move 400,000 low-income residents onto the program. Lawmakers arrived at a compromise on Medicaid and on other parts of spending in part by setting a tax on hospitals. Under Obamacare, the federal government paid for all of the cost of Medicaid expansion in states beginning in 2014, but this support will fall to 90 percent of costs by 2020. In some states, that will mean billions of dollars in additional spending.

Health insurers are asking Washington state regulators to allow them to raise the price of Obamacare premiums in 2019 by an average of 19 percent.

Under the latest proposals made public Monday, no county in the state will be left without an Obamacare insurer, a type of medical coverage offered to customers who do not get health insurance through a job or government program. Still, 14 counties would have only one insurer to choose from, which will limit their options and the doctors and hospitals that will be in their network.

State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler blamed the Trump administration’s changes to Obamacare for the increases.

. . .

New numbers on healthcare costs highlight, yet again, how much of a dereliction of duty it will be if congressional Republicans don’t take another crack this year at replacing Obamacare.

The Congressional Budget Office reported on Wednesday that premiums for the basic Obamacare plan will rise 15 percent next year, despite overall price inflation in the rest of the economy remaining at or below 2 percent.

The huge price hikes will not be a one-time thing, either. “Going forward, the agency projects premiums will increase an average of 10% a year between 2019 and 2023 and then 5% annually between 2024 and 2028,” reported CNN.

. . .

Utah voters will decide on ballot measures to expand Medicaid and to legalize medical marijuana this fall.

Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox released Tuesday what measures will be on the ballot in the 2018 elections this November.

A measure to expand Medicaid under Obamacare got enough signatures to make it onto the ballot.

Activists behind the measure are hoping to have the same success as Maine, which approved the Medicaid expansion in a ballot measure last year. However, Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage has vowed to not abide by the ballot measure, prompting a lawsuit.

. . .

A group of outside conservative groups developing a plan to repeal Obamacare said they would ensure the final product does not allow taxpayer funding to go toward covering abortions.

“When our plan is released, it will include strong pro-life priorities as well as recommendations that focus on providing Americans relief from Obamacare’s high costs and lack of choice while helping to heal the broken private small-group and individual insurance markets,” said Marie Fishpaw, Heritage’s director of domestic policy studies, in a statement.

. . .

A nascent effort to resurrect Obamacare repeal this year in the Senate is running into the same roadblock that stymied efforts last year: not enough GOP support.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he is working on a new repeal bill that could come out in “hopefully the coming weeks, not months.” Republicans could be blamed for premium increases on Obamacare’s exchanges in 2019 if they don’t act to repeal the law, he said.

. . .