Obamacare premiums are expected to drop 2 percent nationally next year, and the total number of insurers on the federal exchange will grow for the first time in four years, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Thursday during remarks in Nashville. Azar credited President Donald Trump for the improving insurance marketplace, saying that Trump had proven “better at managing” Obamacare than the law’s namesake.

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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.…

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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.

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Maine’s Republican governor has said federal regulators want to know how Maine would pay for Medicaid expansion. But it’s unclear just how that issue will play out in Maine, the first state to pass Medicaid expansion under Republican President Trump’s administration. States must file routine paperwork to get federal Medicaid expansion funding under former Democratic…

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The Wisconsin Department of Justice has filed a new lawsuit against the federal government over a fee for health insurers under the Affordable Care Act. State Attorney General Brad Schimel announced last week the state had filed the lawsuit, along with a motion for a temporary restraining order against President Donald Trump’s Administration, as the…

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Last year, fewer than half of the districts had health care as a top search. Now, more than three-quarters have it as a top search. This is surprising but not shocking. We reported last week that health care was the most popular subject for political ads in August, with more than half of the ads…

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To get health care costs under control, we must restore market forces and equip patients to be involved in their care. That means empowering the doctor-patient relationship, which benefits not just the patient’s health, but also the patient’s pocketbook. Currently, practice, laws and regulations work to keep the power and money surrounding health care decisions in the hands of bureaucrats, lawyers and lobbyists. That is wrong.

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Former President Barack Obama promised the Affordable Care Act would bend “the cost curve and [start] to reduce costs for families, businesses, and government.” But his pledge has gone unfulfilled – patients and taxpayers are spending record amounts on healthcare. This year, total healthcare spending will increase 5.3 percent, according to a recent estimate from the Centers for…

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Premiums for individual coverage averaged $440 per month while premiums for family plans averaged $1,168 per month. The graphs below demonstrate the rise in both individual and family premiums since the ACA’s inception. The average annual deductible for individual plans was $4,578 and the average deductible for family plans was $8,803. The graphs below demonstrate the rise in both family and individual deductibles since the ACA’s inception.

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Republicans are sending mixed messages on federalism. On “gag clauses,” all Republicans save two voted on Monday to intrude on states’ handling of pharmaceutical negotiations — even though a majority of states have passed legislation on this topic, including 15 just this year. And on “surprise billing,” Sen. Bill Cassidy — sponsor of the Graham-Cassidy legislation — apparently thinks…

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