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KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Could The ACA Really Go Away?

Is the entire Affordable Care Act unconstitutional? That was the question before a federal appeals court in New Orleans this week. Two of the three judges on the panel seemed inclined to agree with a lower court that the elimination of the tax penalty for failure to maintain coverage could mean the entire health law should fall. Also this week, President Donald Trump wants to improve care for people with kidney disease. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this, plus courts blocking efforts to require drug prices in TV ads and to kick Planned Parenthood out of the federal family planning program. Plus, Rovner interviews University of Michigan law professor Nicholas Bagley about the latest legal threat to the ACA.

Newsom Proposes Penalty To Fund Health Insurance Subsidies

Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to help an estimated 850,000 Californians pay their health insurance premiums and would fund his plan with a tax penalty on people who don’t have coverage. If he succeeds, California would be the first state to subsidize middle-income people who make too much to qualify for federal financial aid.

New Covered California Sign-Ups Plummet

Even though the number of people renewing their Covered California health plans increased this year, new enrollment plunged by nearly a quarter compared with last year, posting a bigger drop than the federal health insurance exchange, healthcare.gov, which saw a 16 percent decrease. Officials largely blame the elimination of the federal tax penalty for people without insurance.

Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ More On That Texas Lawsuit, And The Best And Worst Health Policy Stories Of The Year

The fallout continues from that Texas court decision that ruled Congress’ 2017 elimination of the tax penalty for failing to have insurance rendered the entire Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. Meanwhile, enrollment for 2019 at healthcare.gov was down, but far less than many predicted. KHN’s Julie Rovner, along with panelists Joanne Kenen of Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner, discuss this, plus the best, most overhyped and nerdiest stories of 2018. Also, Rovner interviews GOP strategist and pollster Frank Luntz.

Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ (Almost) Live from Austin!

In this episode of KHN’s “What the Health?” Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, and Alice Ollstein of Politico talk about how health issues will play in midterm elections, the Trump administration’s move that could penalize legal immigrants who use government aid programs, and other topics. Due to technical difficulties, the original discussion taped Sept. 27 at the 2018 Texas Tribune Festival could not be broadcast, so the panelists reconvened from Austin and Washington on Sept. 28.