Healthcare Reform News Update for October 11, 2017
Iowa Seeks to Leave Federal Health Insurance Marketplace
Iowa is seeking to move out of the federal marketplace system and set up a state-run exchange instead. If approved, the state would be allowed to eliminate key Obamacare features, including its federally run exchange, subsidy structure, and providing affordable coverage for low-income individuals.
Iowa’s proposed plan creates a single healthcare option for customers with a deductible of $7,350 for a single person and $14,700 for families. It would redirect federal money dedicated to people with lower incomes and use it for premium assistance for all customers, regardless of income.
President Donald Trump has requested that the plan be rejected. It currently remains under review.
Acting HHS Secretary Appointed
Eric Hargen has been appointed the acting secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). He fills the position after the resignation of Tom Price last month.
Hargen, a former corporate lawyer, served under former President George W. Bush and was part of President Donald Trump’s HHS transition team.
Trump Executive Healthcare Order to Come This Week
President Donald Trump will sign his healthcare executive order by the end of the week, according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
On Tuesday, the president tweeted that “Since Congress can’t get its act together on HealthCare, I will be using the power of the pen to give great HealthCare to many people — FAST.” The order is expected to allow more businesses and individuals to buy association health plans that can cross state lines, extend short-term health plans, and encourage health savings accounts.
Healthcare Reform News Update for October 10, 2017
California Governor Signs Drug Transparency Bill
California Governor Jerry Brown on Monday signed the country’s most comprehensive legislation that addresses rising drug prices. The new law will require drug companies to give 60 days’ notice to state agencies and health insurers anytime they plan to raise the price of a drug by 16 percent over a 2-year period. The legislation also ramps up annual disclosure requirements on overall pricing.
“The essence of this bill is pretty simple,” Brown said. “Californians have a right to know why their medical costs are out of control, especially when the pharmaceutical profits are soaring.”
Trump Could Sign Healthcare Executive Order This Week
President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order later this week that would allow small businesses or other groups to join together to purchase health insurance across state lines. The order would change existing association health plan (AHP) regulations, including loosening Obamacare protections to consumers with pre-existing conditions.
Proponents of AHPs say the order could help lower prices and grow the free market. Others say that it would cause insurance companies to leave the exchanges and increase instability in the marketplace.
Healthcare Reform News Update for October 9, 2017
Call Center for ACA Enrollment Will Stay Fully Staffed
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will not cut the number of employees at a call center that helps individuals enroll for Obamacare health coverage.
Last year, the center staffed 11,000 phone representatives during the open enrollment period; CMS anticipates having a similar number this year.
Healthcare Reform News Update for October 6, 2017
Trump Administration to Dismantle Contraception Mandate
President Donald Trump issued new rules Friday that will allow more employers be exempt from covering birth controlfor moral or religious reasons. The move could affect hundreds of thousands of women who currently receive contraception coverage at no charge under the Affordable Care Act.
“Application of the mandate to entities with sincerely held religious objections to it does not serve a compelling governmental interest,” according to the new rules administered by the Trump administration.
The new rules would take effect immediately, according to the Trump administration. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Friday filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over the roll back. Several women’s advocacy and public health groups have promised to file lawsuits against the action.