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  • Trump's Move to Make Skimpier Health Plans More Available Threatens to Undermine Obamacare Los Angeles Times by Noam Levey — The Trump administration moved Thursday to further loosen regulations on health insurance plans, taking a modest step toward the president's oft-stated goal of rolling back requirements imposed by the Affordable Care Act that many Republicans blame for high premiums. The proposed rules posted Thursday by the Department of Labor would make it easier for self-employed Americans, small businesses and others to band together to get health insurance through what are called association health plans. … "The rule proposed today will almost certainly result in more people facing financial distress when an unexpected health crisis happens and they discover their association health plan coverage is inadequate," said Chris Hansen, president of the advocacy arm of the American Cancer Society, The proposed rules on association health plans are open for public comment for the next 60 days, after which they may be adjusted before becoming final.

  • Credit Rater Predicts Stable Year for Obamacare Markets The Hill by Jessie Hellmann — The ObamaCare insurance markets will be relatively stable through 2018, analysts predicted Wednesday. Insurers have adapted to the uncertainty surrounding the Trump administration's handling of the law, A.M. Best, a global credit rating organization, wrote in a briefing released Wednesday. It said insurers should have a stable 2018.  The analysts had previously predicted a negative outlook for insurers in 2018. Insurers benefited from high rate increases, limited competition and narrow provider networks in 2016 and 2017, the analysts note, as well as a stabilizing exchange population between sick and healthy customers. The analysts said while issues could arise if Republicans try to repeal and replace Obamacare again, they believe Congress will focus on other issues this year. 



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