Judge Rules ACA Contraceptive Mandate Subject to Religious Objection

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor of Ft. Worth, Texas, who last year ruled the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) unconstitutional, this past week ruled that individuals with religious objections must be allowed to buy insurance without the ACA-mandated contraceptive mandate. Judge O’Connor’s prior ruling is on hold pending a July 8 hearing before […]

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HHS Proposes to Reverse Transgender Protections under Obamacare

The Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) contains language prohibiting discrimination in health care based on sex, which was expanded under a 2016 rule by the Obama-era Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to include gender identity. Now the Trump HHS has proposed reversing that rule and confining ACA anti-discrimination protections to only the […]

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Washington State Adds Public Option Health Insurance

As “Medicare for All” becomes the mantra of several candidates for president, all progressive Democrats, Washington State on Monday inaugurated its own version of a public option health insurance plan, based on expanding the qualifications for Medicaid to 500 percent of the federal poverty line, or $62,450 a year for a single person. The agency […]

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Employed Doctors Now Outnumber the Self-Employed

For the first time since the group began tracking physician employment trends, the American Medical Association (AMA) reports that the percentage of physicians who are employed — working in a hospital, for instance — now outpaces the percentage who own their own practices. According to the most recent survey, taken in September 2018, 47.4 percent […]

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CMS Releases Final Rules for 2020 Health Plans under Obamacare

After a lengthy commentary period that saw few changes from the proposed rule, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Serves (CMS) has released its “Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters” for health insurance plans being sold on the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) exchanges for 2020. The notice actually lowers user fees on the […]

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DOJ Seeks Speedy Resolution to Obamacare Ruling

On Wednesday, April 10, the 5th Circuit Court granted the Trump administration’s request for an expedited hearing, meaning all arguments will be heard in the first week of July. The Trump Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday urged the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear all arguments in the appeal of a judge’s […]

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Judge Strikes Down Expansion of Association Health Plans (AHPs)

In the same week that the Trump administration doubled down on its legal opposition to Obamacare, a federal judge Thursday blocked as an “end-run” around the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) the expansion of Association Health Plans (AHPs) sought by the administration. U.S. District Judge John Bates sided with the arguments […]

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Centene, WellCare Merger to Create Obamacare Behemoth

Centene, a major health insurer based in St. Louis, is paying $17.3 billion in cash and stock to purchase WellCare Health Plans, a provider of government-sponsored health care programs, including Medicaid. The merger has been approved by both companies’ boards of directors and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2020. Together, […]

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DOJ Now Argues for Legal Dissolution of the ACA

The Department of Justice (DOJ) under new Attorney General William Barr has changed course and is now calling on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to strike down in its entirety the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare). This is in opposition to its previous position, which argued only for the unconstitutionality of the […]

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CMS Gives Grandmothered Health Plans Another Year of Life

In announcing the final tally for enrollment in Obamacare plans for 2019 through the exchanges, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today also announced that health insurance plans that are not compliant with all new mandates but were “grandmothered” in 2014 are being given another year of non-compliant, grandfather status. CMS today released […]

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