News

Pushing for Vote on Health Care Bill, Trump Seems Unclear on Its Details

May 1, 2017, The New York Times, Robert Pear - After two false starts on President Trump’s promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Trump administration officials are pressing the House to vote on a revised version of the Republican repeal bill this week, perhaps as soon as Wednesday, administration officials said. And on Sunday, Mr. Trump insisted that the Republican health legislation would not allow discrimination against people with pre-existing medical conditions, an assertion contradicted by numerous health policy experts as well as the American Medical Association. “Pre-existing conditions are in the bill,” the president said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “And I mandate it. I said has to be.”


An interview suggests Trump doesn’t know what’s in his health bill

April 30, 2017, VOX, Sarah Kliff- President Trump gave a lengthy interview Sunday morning to CBS’ John Dickerson about the Republicans’ health care plan. His responses to basic questions - like what provisions the bill includes or how it would change the health insurance system - suggest he either doesn’t understand how the American Health Care Act works, or doesn’t want to tell the truth about it. Dickerson is the first journalist I have seen grill Trump on what, exactly, is in the Republican plan. He isn’t asking about the politics of the bill and whether it will pass. Rather, he focuses on what are arguably basic questions: what elements are in this bill, and what do you think of them?


GOP shuts out doctors, experts, Democrats - pretty much everybody - as they work on Obamacare repeal

April 27, 2017, The LA Times, Noam Levey- President Trump and House Republicans, in their rush to resuscitate a bill rolling back the Affordable Care Act, are increasingly isolating themselves from outside input and rejecting entreaties to work collaboratively, according to multiple healthcare officials who have tried to engage GOP leaders. The White House and its House GOP allies are hoping to reschedule a vote on their overhaul plan in the coming days, following last month’s embarrassing retreat when the bill was pulled shortly before a vote. But they continue to refuse to reach out to Democrats. Even Senate Republicans have been largely sidelined, though their support will be crucial to putting a measure on Trump’s desk.


Watchdog: Miss. made $21M Medicaid mistake, owes refund

April 27, 2017, The Clarion Ledger, Bracey Harris- The state Division of Medicaid could face an unwelcome expenditure, following a federal audit’s findings that the agency, in error, claimed $21.2 million in unallowable reimbursements from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services over a three-year period. The report released by the Office of Inspector General last month recommends the state refund that amount to the federal government. The review centers on administrative costs submitted for the state’s school-based Medicaid program for the fiscal years 2010-2012. Under the program, states can be reimbursed for certain services carried out at schools such as identifying and enrolling potentially eligible children in Medicaid. Mississippi’s school-based program is administered by the state Department of Education, and the years in question predate current state Superintendent Carey’s Wright’s tenure.


As Trump And Congress Flip-Flop On Health Care, Insurers Try To Plan Ahead

April 27, 2017, NPR, Alison Kodjak- As Republicans in Congress debate changes to the Affordable Care Act, insurance executives across the country are trying to make plans for next year. Companies that sell policies on the exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, face fast-approaching deadlines to inform states about what plans they want to sell, and what they intend to charge. “Insurance companies need to file rates in 2 1/2 months,” says Tom Policelli, CEO of Minuteman Health, which sells Obamacare policies in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. “So basically we’ve got four to six weeks to figure out some basic things that will help all of us in the industry to have more surety and stability, so we can price our premiums lower,” he says.


Obamacare 101 - What’s the big debate over health insurance cost-sharing subsidies?

April 26, 2017, The LA Times, Noam Levey- As President Trump and congressional leaders scrambled to put together a spending bill to keep the government from shutting down at the end of this week, negotiations almost collapsed over an arcane, but critical part of the Affordable Care Act: cost-sharing reduction payments, or CSRs. If you’ve never heard of this piece of the Obamacare puzzle, here’s a rundown of what they are, why they were pulled into Trump’s first budget fight and what their fate may be in the future.