There are better ways to help people with pre-existing conditions than the failed and flawed health overhaul law. We need a new generation of reform that relies on the experience of states, with new formula grants to help them support those who need help in purchasing coverage and provide real protection for those with pre-existing conditions.

Last year’s war on Capitol Hill over repealing Obamacare might suggest that when it comes to health care, Democrats and Republicans can’t agree on anything. But we think that’s too simplistic.

While Democrats and Republicans remain sharply divided over the future of the Affordable Care Act, the law commonly known as Obamacare, there is bipartisan consensus that health care needs to become more affordable.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar on Thursday touted the CMS’ recent push for accountable care organizations to assume more risk.

In an address to an advisory group on physician-focused payment models, Azar said the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation would be launching “bold” new models to reform value-based models that include making physicians and hospitals into “accountable navigators of the health system.”

A federal judge overseeing the latest lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act questioned claims from Democratic attorneys general defending the constitutionality of the health law during oral arguments Wednesday.

The line of questioning from U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor often echoed assertions made by the Republican officials from 20 states who brought the suit. They argue the ACA is illegitimate now that Congress has repealed the law’s tax-based penalty on people who don’t have health insurance.

 

Unexpected medical bills top the list of health care costs Americans are afraid they will not be able to afford, with 4 in 10 people saying they had received a surprisingly large invoice within the past year, according to a new poll.

The Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 67 percent of people worry about unexpected medical bills, more than they dread insurance deductibles, prescription drug costs or the basic staples of life: rent, food and gas.

President Trump has a message for millions of able-bodied Medicaid recipients: Get a job.

Since January, the administration has allowed states to require Medicaid beneficiaries who are not disabled to engage in 80 hours per month of work, volunteering, job training, or school in return for taxpayer-funded health coverage. The purpose of this reform is twofold — to conserve taxpayer dollars, and to break the culture of dependency that saps our communities of dynamism and prosperity.

Comments close soon on New Hampshire’s new Medicaid waiver application. The Granite State is one of several states to already have a work requirement approved, and they want to continue it, which is what understandably gets the most attention.

But New Hampshire is also making another change to their Medicaid expansion plan, one that helps signal the end of an era for the program, the quiet death of what was once thought to be a promising conservative alternative to a conventional Medicaid expansion.

New Hampshire wants to end its Medicaid premium assistance program.

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Based on the facts, Obamacare should be a disaster for Democrats this fall. As Bill Clinton observed, people are paying twice as much for half the coverage. Among those who don’t get any federal subsidy (everyone making more than, say, $50,000), premiums have doubled and tripled and there has been a 29% drop off – even though they face a fine for being uninsured next April 15th.

States have often been an incubator for innovative ideas in health technology pricing and reimbursement. In another example of necessity being the mother of invention, Medicaid expansion coupled with rising drug costs have forced state Medicaid authorities to seek new payment mechanisms that would contain drug costs. In June of this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) gave the green light to Oklahoma to pursue a Medicaid drug pricing initiative.

Californians have always had the freedom to purchase “short-term” health insurance. Short-term plans have traditionally filled gaps in coverage, such as when consumers are between jobs or nearing Medicare eligibility. They often cost 70 percent less and offer greater choice of doctors than ACA plans.