Insurers participating in Medicare Advantage will be able to negotiate directly with drugmakers in an effort to lower the cost of prescription medications under a new policy announced by the Trump administration.
Since they were created in 2004, tax-advantaged Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) have become a successful tool toward promoting patient choice in health care. HSAs are utilized in combination with a high deductible health plan and have proven to be a free-market health-care proposal that does not rely on mandates or cash subsidies. Today, 25 million American families and individuals save and spend their own money tax free on a variety of healthcare expenses — more than double the number of individuals that use ObamaCare exchanges.
Voters in Idaho will get to decide in November whether the state will expand Medicaid, Secretary of State Lawerence Denney announced Tuesday. Denney certified that an activist group collected the required 56,192 signatures needed to place the measure on the ballot. Supporters of the measure say it would provide coverage for up to 62,000 Idahoans who now fall into a coverage gap, making too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for subsidized health insurance through the state insurance exchange. Idaho is one of 18 states that have yet to expand coverage under Obamacare using federal money. Idaho joins Utah as red states where Medicaid expansion will be put to a vote.
House Democrats are launching an official Medicare for All Caucus in an effort to promote a single-payer health care bill. The caucus, which was officially announced on Thursday, comes as an increasingly larger number of Democrats warm to the idea. The idea, championed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), is now favored by many potential 2020 Democratic presidential contenders. The caucus will launch with about 60 members and will be led by Democratic Reps. Pramila Jayapal (WA), Debbie Dingell (MI) and Keith Ellison (MN), with more expected to sign on in the coming weeks.
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House Republicans are trying to blunt Democratic attacks over rising Obamacare premiums, an issue that’s poised to play a key role in the November midterm elections. “At least we’re taking some action, and rightfully so, because to do nothing I think is just, one, it’s not the right thing to do,” said Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which advanced many of the health care bills last week. “And second, politically to do nothing is not a [good idea].” The bills slated for votes in the House next week include measures expanding HSAs. Sources say other measures include a repeal of Obamacare’s medical device tax and a delay of the health insurance tax, which some members of both parties have criticized for driving up premiums.
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The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday approved legislation that would chip away at ObamaCare, including a measure that would temporarily repeal the law’s employer mandate. The bill sponsored by GOP Reps. Devin Nunes (CA) and Mike Kelly (PA) would suspend penalties for the employer mandate for 2015 through 2019 and delay implementation of the tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health plans for another year, pushing it back to 2022.
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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) on Friday signed a bill to impose controversial work requirements on Medicaid recipients.
If the plan is approved by the Trump administration, Michigan would become the fifth state to add work mandates to its program.
In January, Trump officials released their guidelines for work requirements on Medicaid, a move that has drawn a sharp outcry from Democrats, who say the change will lead to people losing health coverage.
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