Sen. McCain Signals Reluctant Support for Latest Repeal and Replace Effort

The latest Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare in the form of the Graham-Cassidy bill got a boost on Monday when Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz.) indicated he might vote yea so long as his state’s governor supported the measure. Later in the day, Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey gave his approval of the measure. […]

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Repeal and Replace Gains New Traction

A new Republican bill that would gut the Affordable Care Act (ACAA) and replace it with block grants to the states to implement their own health care programs — even single-payer — is breathing new life into the “repeal and replace” movement that failed just seven weeks ago. Already, however, Sens. Rand Paul (R.-Ky.) and […]

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CMS Says 63 Counties to Be Without Obamacare Provider

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted an update to its Health Insurance Exchanges Issuer County Map. This map is of projected issuer participation on the Health Insurance Exchanges in 2018 based on the known issuer public announcements through Sept. 13, 2017. Participation is expected to fluctuate and does not represent actual […]

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Trump Administration to Cut Funding for Obamacare Advertising, Promotion

The Trump administration is slashing advertising for enrollment in Affordable Care Act (ACA) policies for 2018 from $100 million to $10 million, and cutting funding for “navigators,” individuals who help people sign up, from $62.5 million to $36 million, CNBC reports today, citing phone calls from Health and Human Services (HHS) officials. Those officials and […]

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4 Million Paid Average of $708 in Obamacare Penalties in 2016

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reports that 4 million Americans paid an average of $708 for not having health insurance in 2016 — what the IRS terms the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment (ISRP). The average is just over the base penalty of $695 imposed for a whole year without coverage. Interestingly, 22.6 million others filed for exemptions […]

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Senate Republicans Give Up on ‘Repeal and Replace’

With the defection of two more Senate Republicans from the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 has been withdrawn from a vote. On Monday, Sens. Mike Lee (Utah) and Jerry Moran (Kan.) issued statements declaring they would not vote for the revamped measure. They thus joined Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and […]

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Obamacare Policy Issuers Decrease by 38 Percent from 2016-17

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced that 141 individual market qualified health plan (QHP) issuers had submitted initial applications to offer coverage using the federally-facilitated exchange eligibility and enrollment platform (healthcare.gov) in 2018. At the initial filing deadline last year, 227 issuers submitted an application compared to 141 this year, a […]

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Private Insurers Pay Twice (or More) for Physician, Hospital Services than Medicare

At the same time that it issued its assessment of the Senate’s new health care plan, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a related report comparing physician and hospital costs when paid by private insurers and when paid by Medicare and Medicare Advantage. The CBO found the average commercial payment rate for hospital admission was […]

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House Passes Health Care Legislation, Sends It to Senate

On the narrowest of margins, the House of Representatives on May 4 passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in its effort to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare). The measure now goes to the Senate, which has vowed to rewrite it. The AHCA does away with both the individual and […]

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HHS Announces Limited ‘Fixes’ to Obamacare

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) yesterday announced a set of limited “fixes” to the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) going forward. “While these steps will help stabilize the individual and small group markets, they are not a long-term cure for the problems that the Affordable Care Act has created in our health […]

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