The Trump administration’s assault on e-cigarettes is the latest move by the White House to salvage Donald Trump’s health care agenda ahead of the 2020 elections.
Turning away from the bitter Obamacare debates that have been a disaster for Republicans, Trump’s been building his disease-by-disease agenda all year, aimed at suburban voters who may be put off by the Democrats’ left turn on health care.
His 2020 campaign strategists say this is all intentional. Polls show that health care is a top issue for swing voters, but Democrats currently have the edge and Obamacare is polling at all-time highs.
Trump promised in this year’s State of the Union address to wipe out HIV transmission in the United States in a decade. At campaign rallies since then, he’s promised to lower drug costs, end the opioid epidemic and even cure childhood cancer. He’s rolled out a plan to overhaul kidney care for hundreds of thousands of Americans on dialysis and waiting for life-saving transplants. And now he’s taking on the rapidly worsening epidemic of youth vaping.
Senate HELP Committee leaders Wednesday unveiled their wide-ranging bill to address health care costs including “surprise” medical bills. [While surprise medical bills are a serious problem and the goal is laudable, Congress has tried in the past to address this issue, leading to unintended and expensive consequences. All of the proposals before the HELP committee are controversial, and Congress must proceed carefully to avoid exacerbating the problem.]
The era of annual eye-popping Obamacare rate hikes appears to be over.
Premium increases in the law’s marketplaces are on track to be relatively modest for the second straight year, according to the first batch of 2020 rates proposed by insurers. The rate filings are an early indication that this year’s small rate hikes weren’t a fluke and that other Trump administration policies — including support for a lawsuit that could torch the Affordable Care Act — have proven less disruptive than some experts feared.
Tennessee is charging ahead to become the first state in the nation to ask the Trump administration for Medicaid funding in a lump sum—a radical overhaul of the entitlement program that critics warn could force major cutbacks in healthcoverage for low-income people. State Republican lawmakers last week, emboldened by the Trump administration’s promise to provide states with more flexibility to run their Medicaid programs, approved legislation requiring Tennessee to submit a Medicaid block grant plan to the federal government within six months. The legislation now goes to Republican Gov. Bill Lee, who will sign the bill, a spokesperson said.
The Trump administration today approved Utah’s request for a scaled-back Medicaid expansion with a work requirement just days after a federal judge blocked similar rules from taking effect in Kentucky and Arkansas.
The approval also lets Utah cap program enrollment if the state runs out of money and marks the first phase of a plan to replace a Medicaid expansion voters approved last November with a scaled-down program covering roughly 60,000 fewer people.
The only people more eager than progressive Democrats for hearings on Medicare for All are conservative Republicans.
GOP lawmakers, fresh off an electoral shellacking fueled in large part by health care concerns, are now trolling Democrats with demands for hearings on the sweeping single-payer bill set to be introduced this month. They’re confident that revelations about its potential cost and elimination of most private insurance will give them potent lines of attack heading into 2020 — an election that President Donald Trump is already framing as a debate about “socialism.”
Deep-pocketed hospital, insurance and other lobbies are plotting to crush progressives’ hopes of expanding the government’s role in health care once they take control of the House. The private-sector interests, backed in some cases by key Obama administration and Hillary Clinton campaign alumni, are now focused on beating back another prospective health care overhaul, including plans that would allow people under 65 to buy into Medicare.
California’s next governor Gavin Newsom is an avowed single-payer supporter in the country’s most populous state. But how much of his stand is principle and how much is policy is not totally clear. And no matter how he handles it, he’ll inevitably anger part of his base.
That, in a nutshell, is a preview of the Democrats’ health policy dilemma heading into the 2020 election cycle. Single payer, or “Medicare for All,” has become a litmus test for the growing number of Democrats who are contemplating challenging President Donald Trump. Newsom’s stance gives supporters some cover, turning the issue mainstream. But making good on the promise carries big risk — even for a politician who won by a nearly 20-point margin.
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.
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.