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Affordable Care Act

  • Trump Administration Issues Rule Further Watering Down Obamacare  Reuters by Yasmeen Abutaleb — The Trump administration took additional steps to weaken Obamacare on Monday, allowing U.S. states to relax the rules on what insurers must cover and giving states more power to regulate their individual insurance markets. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that allows states to select essential health benefits that must be covered by individual insurance plans sold under former President Barack Obama’s healthcare law. The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires coverage of 10 benefits, including maternity and newborn care and prescription drugs. Under the new rule, states can select from a much larger list which benefits insurers must cover. That could lead to less generous coverage in some states, according to Avalere Health, a research and consulting firm.

  • Five Takeaways from CMS's Final 2019 ACA Marketplace Rule  Modern Healthcare by Shelby Livingston — The CMS issued a 523-page final rule late Monday that agency officials said is meant to give states more power to regulate their individual and small-group health insurance markets. The rule also furthers the Trump administration's agenda of chipping away at Affordable Care Act rules in lieu of a full repeal, which congressional Republicans haven't been able to pull off. Here are five highlights: States' choose-your-own-benefits adventure….Only rate hikes of 15 percent  or more will get a review…More "Get Out of Health Insurance Free" cards … License to innovate…Loosening up the MLR (medical loss ratio).

  • Democratic Attorneys General Fight Texas Health Care Lawsuit  Associated Press by Kathleen Ronayne — Sixteen Democratic attorneys general pushed back Monday against a Texas lawsuit aimed at striking down former President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led 14 other states and the District of Columbia in filing a motion to intervene in the Texas case and defend the law, suggesting the Trump administration wouldn’t take such action. "We're taking this action to protect the health and financial security of millions of people in our country, as well as billions of dollars of federal funds that go to our states to make sure that we can afford the health care that our families need," Becerra said at a news conference. The motion sets up a battle between Democratic- and Republican-led states, 19 of which joined the Texas case that was filed in February. It argues the ACA is no longer valid because of a provision in the Republican-backed tax overhaul that removed the fines for not having health insurance.

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