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The Affordable Care Act

  • Health Groups Push for Obamacare Funding in Omnibus Package  The Hill by Nathaniel Weixel — A coalition of health care providers and insurers on Tuesday called on House and Senate leaders to include additional funding for Obamacare programs in the upcoming omnibus package to fund the government. "Immediate action is necessary to reduce premiums for individuals and families that purchase coverage on their own," the groups wrote in the letter. The coalition, which includes America's Health Insurance Plans, the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association, said Congress should approve multiple years of funding for Obamacare cost sharing-reduction (CSR) payments.

  • Lawmakers Soldier on With Insurance Stabilization After White House Memo  Modern Healthcare by Susannah Luthi — Lawmakers are moving forward with final negotiations on an individual market stabilization measure despite the Trump administration's latest requests in exchange for its support. In a memo leaked Tuesday, the Trump administration suggested it would support funding cost-sharing reduction payments for insurers if Congress includes several other provisions in the upcoming spending omnibus, including anti-abortion language and expanding access to health savings accounts….The White House memo came as a surprise as House and Senate lawmakers put the final touches on a stabilization effort that includes a reinsurance fund and cost-sharing reduction payments that the Trump administration halted last October.

  • Planned Parenthood Defunding Threatens Government Spending Package  Politico by Jennifer Haberkorn and Sarah Ferris — House Republicans are demanding a series of controversial abortion and health care policies in the annual health spending bill, setting up a showdown with Democrats and threatening passage of an omnibus spending package to keep the government open. Democrats are vowing to block the slew of long-sought conservative priorities. The riders would cut off federal funding to Planned Parenthood, eliminate a federal family planning program and ax the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, according to sources on Capitol Hill. Republicans also want to insert a new prohibition on funding research that uses human fetal tissue obtained after an abortion.

  • Premiums for ACA Health Insurance Plans Could Jump 90 Percent in Three Years  Washington Post by Amy Goldstein — Insurance premiums for Affordable Care Act health plans are likely to jump by 35 to 94 percent around the country within the next three years,  according to a new report concluding that recent federal decisions will have a profound effect on prices. The nationwide analysis, issued Thursday by California's insurance marketplace, finds wide variations state to state, with a broad swath of the South and parts of the Midwest in danger of what the report calls "catastrophic" average rate increases by 2021. According to the analysis, the largest single impact will come from eliminating, starting in 2019, the ACA's penalty for Americans who violate the law's requirement that most people in the United States carry health coverage.

  • Trump Administration Blocks Idaho's Plan to Circumvent Health Law  New York Times by Robert Pear — The Trump administration rejected on Thursday Idaho's plan to allow the sale of stripped-down, low-cost health insurance that violates the Affordable Care Act. The 2010 statute "remains the law, and we have a duty to enforce and uphold the law," Seema Verma, the administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said in a letter to the governor of Idaho, C. L. Otter. While rejecting Idaho's plan in its current form, Ms. Verma encouraged the state to keep trying, and she suggested that, "with certain modifications," its proposal might be acceptable.

  • Dem AGs Rip Proposed Trump Rule on Health Plans  The Hill by Nathaniel Weixel — A coalition of 17 Democratic state attorneys general is blasting a proposed Trump administration rule to allow health plans to circumvent certain Obamacare rules. The group, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, said the proposal is a thinly veiled attempt to undermine the health-care law. The proposal "is nothing more than an unlawful end run around the consumer protections enshrined in the Affordable Care Act, part of President Trump's continued efforts to sabotage the ACA," Schneiderman said in a statement. In a formal comment letter, the group called on the Labor Department to hold public hearings on the impact of the proposal before finalizing any changes. Under the proposal released in January, small businesses and self-employed individuals would be allowed to join together in what are known as "association health plans" (AHPs).

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