- California Healthline Original Stories 4
- Covered California’s Future In Peril If Federal Subsidies Dry Up
- No Immediate Changes To Your Obamacare Coverage
- Millions Could Lose Medicaid Coverage Under Trump Plan
- Momentum To Regulate Drug Prices Uncertain After Prop 61 Defeat, Republican Victories
- Covered California & The Health Law 3
- Following Trump's Win, Americans Sign Up For Health Law Coverage In Droves
- Trump's Daunting Challenge: How Do You Actually Replace Obamacare?
- California Will Face 'Very, Very Difficult Choices' If Medicaid Is Block-Granted
Latest From California Healthline:
Director Peter Lee reminds consumers that the insurance exchange remains ‘open for business’ as he looks for ways to work with the new Trump Administration. (Chad Terhune, 11/10)
Despite President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, state officials and advocates say your health plan is safe for now. (Emily Bazar, 11/11)
But block grants face likely resistance from states, poised to lose many millions. (Phil Galewitz, 11/10)
Any proposals to rein in prescription drug costs will likely come from states, rather than national lawmakers, experts say. (Pauline Bartolone, 11/10)
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More News From Across The State
More than 100,000 people enrolled in coverage on Wednesday.
Los Angeles Times:
More People Signed Up For Obamacare The Day After Trump Was Elected Than Any Day This Enrollment Period
Underscoring the challenge President-elect Donald Trump faces repealing the Affordable Care Act, more than 100,000 people signed up for health coverage through the law on Wednesday, the day after Trump’s election. The tally, reported Thursday by the Obama administration, marked the busiest day since the enrollment period for coverage in 2017 began Nov. 1. (Levey, 11/10)
The New York Times:
No Affordable Care Act? Health Insurers Weren’t Expecting That
More than 100,000 Americans rushed to buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday, the biggest turnout yet during this year’s sign-up period, the day after the election of Donald J. Trump, who has promised to repeal the law. The figure, announced by the Obama administration, added to a sense of whiplash about the law, and underscored the magnitude of any change. Despite all the criticisms about the law coming from President-elect Trump and his allies, millions of people now depend on it for coverage. (Abelson, 11/11)
There are several portions of the health law Donald Trump will be able to roll back on his first day. But he, and congressional Republicans, will find it hard to strip 20 million people of health care coverage overnight.
Los Angeles Times:
Donald Trump Wants To Replace Obamacare. But It's Not That Simple.
Republicans, who for six years have promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, will finally get their chance to do it. But even with control of the White House and Congress, it’s unclear whether the GOP can pull it off. (Levey, 11/10)
The Wall Street Journal:
5 Questions About Affordable Care Act Coverage After Donald Trump’s Election
President-elect Donald Trump and the Republicans leading congress have said that they plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. That’s left a lot of consumers wondering what is changing for them. Here are a few questions and answers. (Wilde Mathews, 11/10)
Covered California’s Future In Peril If Federal Subsidies Dry Up
Before Election Day, California’s insurance exchange was slated to meet soon to map out its “long-term vision” for health reform. That conversation has suddenly shifted to whether the largest state-run marketplace has much of a long-term future itself. (Terhune, 11/10)
The state, which has been one of the most successful in the nation at signing up people for Medicaid coverage under the health law, would get more flexibility with block grants, but likely less federal money.
What Happens To Medi-Cal Under A Trump Administration?
President-elect Donald Trump has vowed that he will repeal Obamacare and replace it with something “better.” Specifics are scarce, but one plan Trump has outlined is to change how the federal government funds Medicaid, health coverage for low-income people. (Dembosky, 11/11)
Trump Medicaid Plan Could Force Service Cuts, Higher Taxes
The new Donald Trump administration may soon force states to cut spending on services or raise taxes. That's because the president-elect wants to overhaul the way the federal government pays for state-provided Medicaid health-care coverage. ... "Trump's proposal to convert Medicaid funding into a block grant program would lead to much lower federal funding to states," according to a statement Thursday from Fitch Ratings, which tracks state finances for investors in municipal bonds. (Schoen, 11/10)
A new model that aims to keep cancer patients, who are immunocompromised, away from the potentially dangerous environment of hospitals. Hospitals “know nothing about helping people stay out of the hospital. Why would they? Their business is putting people in the hospital,” Dr. Barbara McAneny says.
Cancer Model Saves Money, Keeps Patients Out Of Hospital
It struck Dr. Barbara McAneny a decade ago that whenever chemotherapy complications sent cancer patients to the hospital they’d come out a little bit worse. “Each time, it’s another step down,” the oncologist said. Their immune systems are vulnerable to infections from other patients, and when they go home, they’re “just a little bit weaker, a little more debilitated.” There’s also a huge financial toll. Hospitalization can cost $30,000 or more, and patients are billed for co-payments and deductibles. Many patients who survive cancer lose their jobs or can no longer work. (Clark, 11/10)
The advocates have used backpacks with personal stories attached to them in an effort to solidify the idea that the numbers students see about suicides represent real people.
East Bay Times:
Traveling Exhibit Seeks To Stop Suicide, Upend Stigmas
When Samantha Greenhalgh and other mental health advocates set out on a transcontinental road trip in September, they all had one collective goal in mind as they left the nation’s capital: to kick social stigmas on suicide to the curb...The exhibit, called “Send Silence Packing,” features more than 1,200 backpacks, personal stories, photographs and personal items donated by friends and family members of college students lost to suicide each year. (Moriki, 11/10)
A selection of opinions on health care developments from around the state.
Los Angeles Times:
Defending Obamacare: 'Don't Agonize. Organize'
Day 1. That’s when President-elect Donald Trump says he expects Congress to send him a bill repealing Obamacare, which he says he’ll sign. And more than 20 million Americans will lose health coverage. “There’s no way to sugarcoat any of this,” said Gerald Kominski, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. “We’re about to throw 20 million people under a bus.” (David Lazarus, 11/10)
Los Angeles Times:
Despite Republican Pledges, 'Repealing Obamacare' Will Be Almost Impossible — But It Could Be Vandalized
The promise to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act has been a staple of the Republican Party platform virtually since the law’s enactment in 2010. Now it looks like it might happen. President-elect Donald Trump picked up the theme in his campaign, promising “on Day One of the Trump administration” to “ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare.” He pledged to supplant it with “something terrific.” (Michael Hiltzik, 11/10)
California's 'Progressive' Policies May Now Face Federal Challenges
No state was more vigorous in implementing the Affordable Care Act, extending health insurance coverage to millions of Californians, particularly through expansion of Medi-Cal, which covers the poor, to more than a third of its population. A Republican Congress has pledged to repeal the ACA, and if it does, the state could lose many billions of federal dollars that have paid for expansion, forcing the state to decide whether to continue its coverage for millions of Californians on its own dime. Indeed, it could become the ultimate test of just how “progressive” California’s politicians are. (Dan Walters, 11/10)
The New York Times:
Soda Taxes Sweep To Victories, Despite Facing Big Spending
The beverage industry spent a lot of money to defeat soda taxes in four American cities Tuesday, but it lost in every one of them. The victories for soda-tax advocates — in San Francisco, Oakland and Albany, Calif., and Boulder, Colo. — were decisive. Those communities now join Berkeley, Calif., and Philadelphia in embracing plans to tax sugary beverages. (Margot Sanger-Katz, 11/9)
Pharma May Have Defeated Prop 61, But State Battles Will Continue
The controversial California ballot measure to lower drug prices may have been defeated, but you can be certain that angst over rising medicine costs will prompt still more state efforts. Known as Prop 61, the measure vilified drug makers as greedy and criminal, but lost by a notable margin — nearly 54 percent of Californians voted it down. This is not surprising, though, and it’s not just because the pharmaceutical industry amassed a $109 million war chest to run a slew of ads that warned about unforeseen consequences. Prop 61 was simply the wrong initiative, even it if appeared at the right time. (Ed Silverman, 11/9)
Los Angeles Times:
So Long Roe Vs. Wade? President Trump's Most Lasting Legacy Could Be Radical Change At The Supreme Court
The election of Donald Trump as president means that there will be a conservative Supreme Court for years and maybe decades to come, but how much the court will move to the right depends on the health and stamina of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer. (Erwin Chemerinsky, 11/9)
The Sacramento Bee:
The Ways Fat Shaming Isn't OK
The ugliest election in decades might be over, but that doesn’t mean all of the ugliness is going away. To the contrary, some of the most repugnant ideas forced upon our national consciousness by Donald Trump remain with us, embedded in our culture and waiting to be challenged by the adults in the room. (11/8)
The Los Angeles Times:
Pot's Legal In California. Now What?
California voters legalized marijuana on Tuesday, but don’t light up or open a pot business just yet. There’s a lot more work to be done. (11/8)
The Los Angeles Times:
Anthem Blue Cross Offers PPO Customers Less Coverage For More Dollars
Several weeks ago, thick envelopes from Anthem Blue Cross stuffed with 21 pages of text landed in the mailboxes of thousands of the company’s California customers. The cover letter indicated right at the top that their premiums were going up, and advised that “if you’re happy with your health plan, it’s easy to keep it for 2017” — the only thing required was to pay the full premium on the bill for January. At least as noteworthy was a change that wasn’t explained until the packet’s next page: the elimination of coverage for non-emergency healthcare services provided by out-of-network doctors, hospitals, clinics or laboratories. (11/7)
The Desert Sun:
Thumbs Up To This Healthy Sign For Valley's Children
Coachella Valley residents seeking medical care, especially those in the eastern half, more help is on the way. Work has begun on the highly anticipated Loma Linda University Children's Hospital facility. The 12,000-square-foot outpatient care unit will house a pediatric specialty clinic and offer pediatric urgent care and primary and specialty care through the SAC Health System. This new operation should help fill a crucial need. Loma Linda officials say there are 135,000 children in our valley, and many areas, especially in the eastern valley, have few options when it comes to health care providers. (11/4)
The Modesto Bee:
Modesto Meeting Focuses On Treatment For Mentally Ill Homeless
When I have free time, I sometimes go to Modesto parks and talk with the homeless. They tell me their stories of how they ended up on the streets. Too often these stories involve mental illness. (Kevin Valine, 11/9)
A selection of opinions from across the country on Donald Trump's election win.
The New York Times:
The Future Of Obamacare Looks Bleak
Republicans in Congress have been calling for the repeal of Obamacare since it passed in 2010. With control of both houses of Congress and the presidency, they may finally get their chance to undo huge, consequential parts of the health law next year. If they succeed, about 22 million fewer Americans would have health insurance, according to an estimate from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. (Margot Sanger-Katz, 11/9)
Repealing Obamacare May Be Easy. Replacing It Won't Be.
Trump's pitch to motivate insurers to compete against one another on price and quality of service sounds great in theory. In fact, all insurers already can sell plans in every state. There's a good reason why they don't. Insurance is regulated by the states, not the federal government. Each state writes its own minimum requirements for health coverage; for reserves and other solvency guarantees; for dispute settlements; and for how much plans can discriminate by charging older, sicker people more and younger, healthier people less. To sell plans in, say, Oklahoma, UnitedHealthcare, the U.S.'s largest health insurer, must follow Oklahoma's regulations. No single product would conform with Oklahoma's regulations and those of neighboring states. So UnitedHealthcare must tailor products for each. (Paula Dwyer, 11/10)
TrumpCare: In The Beginning ...
Yesterday Americans woke up to news of a new president-elect: Donald J. Trump. The immediate question for those whose lives focus around lifting the health of individual Americans is, “What does this mean for health care in America?” At the heart of the answer is uncertainty. Trump is an “unknown unknown” when it comes to deep, thoughtful health policy. He has excelled in many fields, but at best he personally has only dabbled in the field of health care, which accounts for a fifth of our overall economy and affects literally every American. (Bill Frist, 11/10)
An Abortion Doctor On Trump’s Win: ‘I Fear For My Life. I Fear For My Patients.’
As I’ve headed to work in recent days to see abortion patients in my office, I have felt bereft: All the premises of my life, work, education, and future were gone. Something very profound in the meaning of the America I know has been destroyed with the election of Donald J. Trump as president. (Warren M. Hern, 11/11)
The Washington Post:
Republicans Face A Daunting Task: Governing
Donald Trump was president-elect for less than a day before Republicans in Congress began gearing up to move policy in a way the country has not seen in six years. “The opportunity is to go big, to go bold, to get things done,” House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.) declared. The last time one party controlled Congress and the White House, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. This time, Obamacare is on the chopping block. Full repeal seems unlikely for a variety of practical and political reasons. But even before the new administration and Congress set about scaling back the ACA, they must have a real replacement plan on deck. (11/9)
It's Trump's Turn To Wrestle With Reforming Healthcare
One of their biggest problems will be how to fund the tax deductions or credits they have proposed to help people afford health insurance in their new system. That's because repealing the ACA means erasing the hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes that pay for the law's premium tax credits and Medicaid expansion. Last January, congressional Republicans passed a repeal bill that wiped out the subsidies, the Medicaid expansion, and most of the major taxes, including taxes on hospitals, health insurers, medical device makers, and high-income taxpayers. President Barack Obama vetoed it. (Harris Meyer, 11/9)
Doctors To Donald Trump: First Do No Harm
We are a group of doctors who saw in your presidential campaign a threat to the health and well-being of the country. We wrote an open letter sharing our concerns, which more than 600 doctors signed. (Aaron Stupple, Andrew Goldstein and Steven Martin, 11/10)