“A crisis of affordability.” That’s what is plaguing the individual health insurance market, according to Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
The culprit? Obamacare. The health law’s regulations have steadily driven up the cost of insurance. Between 2013 — the year before most of Obamacare’s provisions took effect — and 2017, premiums for individual plans doubled. They’re expected to jump another 15 percent next year.
For political professionals, one of the most bizarre aspects of this bizarre era is the speed at which Vermont socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders has gone from near irrelevance as the Senate’s resident kook to the most influential policy maker in one of America’s two major political parties. Now comes the moment when Democrats who have largely adopted Sanders positions may have to explain them to voters.
A long-shot bid to derail the Trump administration’s expansion of short-term health plans died in the Senate on Wednesday, even with Sen. Susan Collins providing the lone Republican vote for the resolution.
The Senate vote ended in a 50-50 tie, falling short of the majority needed to pass the measure reversing new regulations allowing insurers to sell skimpy health plans outside the Obamacare markets for up to a year, rather than the previous limit of three months.
President Trump on Wednesday signed two bills banning “gag clauses” that keep patients in the dark about how to save money on prescription drugs.
The clauses are sometimes included in the contracts insurers have with pharmacies — preventing pharmacies from telling customers they can save money on a drug if they pay with cash instead of using their health insurance.
“This is very strong legislation to end these unjust gag clauses once and for all,” Trump said during a signing ceremony at the White House.