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Affordable Care Act

  • Out-of-Pocket Health Spending Dropped by Nearly 12 Percent — but Premiums Rose After Obamacare Rolled Out CNBC by Dan Mangan — The launch of Obamacare was followed by a nearly 12 percent average decrease in out-of-pocket health spending among all Americans in a two-year span — but premiums rose by the same percentage and by a bigger dollar amount, according to a study released Monday. The poorest Americans as a group saw an even bigger plunge in out-of-pocket health spending — 21.4 percent, the study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found. Overall, the JAMA study identified a shift in health care spending, with poorer people spending less after the Affordable Care Act was fully implemented, and higher-income households spending more.

  • Trump Makes No Calls for Obamacare Repeal in State of the Union  The Hill by Rachel Roubein —  President Trump made no mention of repealing or replacing Obamacare during his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, cementing how far the issue has fallen off of the GOP's agenda.'' Instead, the Trump administration has looked to alter the health law administratively. Trump's choice to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, knows the regulatory process well, according to Azar's former colleagues. During Azar's swearing-in ceremony at the White House Monday, Trump noted, "As our new secretary, Alex will continue to implement the administrative and regulatory changes needed to ensure that our citizens get the affordable high-quality care that they deserve."

  • Republicans Give Up on Obamacare Repeal  Politico by Burgess Everett — Most GOP lawmakers aren't interested in another failed effort to gut the health law in an election year. Though the GOP still controls both chambers of Congress and maintains the ability to jam through a repeal-and-replace bill via a simple majority, there are no discussions of doing so here at House and Senate Republicans' joint retreat at The Greenbrier resort. Republicans doubt they can even pass a budget providing for the powerful party-line "reconciliation" procedure used to pass tax reform last year, much less take on the politically perilous task of rewriting health care laws in an election year.

  • House GOP Warming to Obamacare Fix  The Hill by Peter Sullivan — Key House Republicans are warming to a proposal aimed at bringing down Obamacare premiums, raising the chances of legislative action this year to stabilize the health-care law. House GOP aides and lobbyists say that top House Republicans are interested in funding what is known as reinsurance. The money could be included in a coming bipartisan government funding deal or in another legislative vehicle. Any action from Republicans to stabilize Obamacare would be a major departure from the party's long crusade against the law, but after having failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act last year, the discussion is shifting. 

  • Nine States Considering Individual Mandate Rules: Report The Hill by Greenwood — Nine states are considering laws that would require their residents to purchase health insurance, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. The proposals come less than two months after Republicans, as part of a sweeping tax code overhaul, voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) mandate requiring individuals to have health insurance.  Lawmakers in Maryland are considering a law requiring residents to buy health insurance. California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia, are also considering similar proposals, according to the Journal report.… "The federal government has just stalled. They don’t accomplish the basics, and that leaves states with a great opportunity to step up and craft policy," Connecticut state Rep. Sean Scanlon (D), who sits on a health-care working group, told the Journal.

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