Healthcare Reform News Update for October 24, 2017
Analyst Predicts 1.1 Million Fewer Healthcare Enrollees
At least 1.1 million fewer people will sign up for healthcare coverage on the exchanges this year, according to an analysis released Monday.
Joshua Peck, the former chief marketing officer for healthcare.gov, said that, due to President Donald Trump’s cuts to advertising budgets, fewer consumers will be aware that this healthcare option is still available.
Peck’s predictions are based on studies that showed how much previous advertising efforts cost the government per person.
The Trump administration disputes Peck’s findings. “Last year, fewer Americans bought Obamacare coverage despite the previous administration nearly doubling the advertising budget. More marketing will not convince Americans to sign up for failed coverage they cannot afford or that does not meet their needs,” said Health and Human Services spokesperson Matt Lloyd.
U.S. Judge Hears Subsidy-Payment Lawsuit
A lawsuit filed by 19 states and the District of Columbia against Trump’s recent order to discontinue cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to insurance companies was heard in a San Francisco federal court on Monday.
U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria appeared unconvinced by arguments, noting that some states, anticipating the subsidies would end, devised a workaround to ensure consumers would not pay more for health insurance.
He is expected to issue a ruling Tuesday.
Iowa Withdraws ACA Proposal
Iowa has halted its efforts to overhaul the Affordable Care Act by offering an alternative individual health insurance system. The state wanted to offer just one type of insurance plan in the individual market for 2018 and reshape the subsidies that help people buy coverage.
The state’s only insurer, Medica, recently raised its premiums an average of 57 percent, which may cause up to 22,000 people to lose coverage, according to the state’s insurance commissioner.
Iowa officials said Obamacare’s waiver rules prevented the Trump administration from approving the request, but two months ago Trump reportedly told a top federal health official to reject it.