The long-anticipated surge of retiring baby boomers is upon us. The Medicare trustees recently estimated that Medicare Part A (the hospital insurance trust fund) will go bankrupt in 2026, only eight years from now—and three years sooner than they predicted in last year’s report. Consumer decisions and behavior provide important clues about where policymakers can…

Details

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…

Details

House Republicans want to pass a bill delaying Obamacare’s 40% excise tax on high-cost employer plans—the “Cadillac tax”—by another year, to 2023. GOP hostility to this tax is a mistake. Capping the tax break for job-based insurance is essential for a market-based approach to cost control. The federal government heavily subsidizes every extra dollar spent…

Details

The Trump administration moved swiftly this week to implement pieces of its plan to bring down drug prices. The Health and Human Services Department on Wednesday submitted a proposal to the White House that would curb kickback exemptions that allow drugmakers to offer insurers and pharmacy-benefit managers rebates widely blamed for keeping drug prices high.…

Details

For Kalena Bruce, a fifth-generation cattle farmer in Stockton, Missouri, finding affordable health coverage under Obamacare hasn’t been easy. She’s a young mom and business owner paying $700 a month in premiums alone, not to mention deductibles and copays. That’s why she’s become an advocate for allowing more small businesses like hers to bring down…

Details

Health insurance companies in Colorado have asked to increase premiums by an average of 5.94 percent for 2019 in the Obamacare market, according to rate filings. No insurers are leaving the exchange, and every county will have at least one health insurer offering coverage. The requested average premium increase for individual gold plans is 6.85 percent,…

Details

The Trump administration’s drive to wean poor people from government benefits by making them work has been slowed by a federal judge framing a fundamental question: Are poverty programs meant to show tough love or to help the needy? U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg in Washington last week halted Kentucky’s first-in-the-nation experiment with Medicaid…

Details

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved Oklahoma’s Medicaid program for a first-in-the-nation drug pricing experiment that supporters say could save taxpayer dollars and provide patients with the most effective medications for their ailments. Under the “value-based purchasing” program approved in late June, the state and a pharmaceutical company would agree to…

Details

A provision of Obamacare that opponents once saw as a potential loophole allowing a Republican president to unravel the law by executive order is now being used by some states to steady their shaky Obamacare markets. Since the inception of Obamacare, “state innovation waivers,” which ostensibly provide states with some flexibility to experiment with different…

Details

Sen. Lydia Brasch of Bancroft and former Sen. Mark Christensen of Imperial filed a lawsuit Tuesday attempting to block Nebraska’s proposed Medicaid expansion initiative from reaching the general election ballot. The lawsuit was filed in Lancaster County District Court after Medicaid expansion supporters completed a petition drive that appears to have gathered sufficient signatures to…

Details