A new guidance issued Monday by the Trump administration loosens restrictions states face to waive ObamaCare requirements and will allow them to pursue conservative health policies that were previously not allowed under the Obama administration.
Currently, states can apply for waivers from certain ObamaCare policies in order to help shore up individual insurance markets. The waivers were designed with specific “guardrails” meant to ensure that the waivers met at least the same coverage level as under ObamaCare.
The new guidance loosens those restrictions and allows states to promote health plans that don’t require the same level of coverage as the federal health law.
It’s a good thing Democrats made health insurance “affordable” when they passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010. I’d hate to see how much health insurance would cost if it were expensive.
The Kaiser Family Foundation just released its annual survey of employer-sponsored coverage, finding that the average premium for family coverage increased 5 percent to $19,616.
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.
A top health official in the Trump administration defended Medicaid work requirements Thursday, arguing that its intent isn’t to expel people from the program.
“Community engagement requirements are not some subversive attempt to just kick people off of Medicaid,” Seema Verma, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said in a speech in Washington, D.C. “Instead, their aim is to put beneficiaries in control with the right incentives to live healthier, independent lives.”
Small Business Owners say that the most important issue affecting them is the cost of health care, according to the National Small Business Association’s annual Politics of Small Business Survey.
When asked what issues they raised most with elected officials, 40 percent of the surveyed owners said health care costs. Local issues were second on the list at 28 percent and tax reform came third with 37 percent.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Wednesday that it has awarded more than $1 billion in grants to states, communities and organizations fighting the opioid crisis.
The vast majority of that funding — $930 million — is intended to support states’ efforts to provide treatment and prevention services to combat opioid abuse.
A bipartisan group of senators is unveiling a draft measure to crack down on surprise medical bills, which they say have plagued patients with massive unexpected charges for care.
The measure would prevent a health care provider that is outside of a patient’s insurance network from charging additional costs for emergency services to patients beyond the amount usually allowed under their insurance plan.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) on Wednesday introduced a measure to overturn a Trump administration rule expanding access to non-ObamaCare insurance plans.
The move is a step in Senate Democrats’ plan to force a vote on the measure as they seek to argue Republicans are attacking protections for people with pre-existing conditions, a key argument Democrats want to make in the midterm election campaign.
Senate Republicans say they would like Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) to appoint a successor to the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) who, unlike McCain, would support GOP legislation to repeal ObamaCare.
Ten GOP senators this week introduced legislation that they say would protect ObamaCare provisions for people with pre-existing conditions.
The bill, introduced on Thursday, comes as congressional Democrats try to tie Republicans to the Trump administration’s decision not to defend some ObamaCare provisions in a federal lawsuit filed by red states.