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Although the nation spent $3.5 trillion on health last year, federal economists found that the increase in health expenses did not exceed the growth in the overall economy.
In the first five weeks of the enrollment period, 3.2 million Americans signed up for health insurance coverage through healthcare.gov. In the same period last year, 3.6 million enrolled. Enrollment on the federal exchanges close Dec. 15, while Covered California’s sign-up period runs through Jan. 15, 2019.
Although California’s statistics are better than other rates, the number of uninsured children in the state has stagnated at 3.1 percent. Some are worried, though, that it’s a sign California’s marketplaces are starting to feel the impact of national efforts to chip away at the health law.
The impact of the ruling in the consolidated cases of Wit v. United Behavioral Health and Alexander v. United Behavioral Health could ripple across the country as many providers and patients say that, despite laws requiring insurers to cover behavioral care on parity with care for physical conditions, they often encounter significant problems getting carriers to pay for needed treatment.
The anticipated rise is largely because the health law’s individual mandate requirement to buy health insurance is being phased out in 2019. The report recommended officials enact policies to stave off the increase, including passing a state-level mandate and offering state-funded financial assistance to low-income consumers to help pay for premiums.
Calif. Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom ran in part on his support for a single-payer system in his state, but no matter how he moves forward he’s bound to anger a section of his base. His situation is emblematic of the dilemma the rest of the party faces as the 2020 campaign starts up.
Rising health care costs are forcing otherwise financially secure Americans to make tough decisions about who in their family gets coverage. David and Maribel Maldonado’s struggles are highlighted in a Bloomberg series looking at the painful financial and medical trade-offs Americans are making just to get care.
Gavin Newsom sailed to victory with help from supporters who are backing him because he champions a single-payer future for California. But the opposition to the model remains stiff.
The retail pharmacy chain expects the deal to close before Thanksgiving. Also in the news, Eli Lilly reports strong third-quarter profits and Sanofi and Regeneron’s eczema cream receives positive feedback from the Food and Drug Administration.
Exit polls indicate that health care was a top issue for Californians, as well as most other voters around the country. And Democrats’ ability to win back a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives is seen by many as a political reversal of fortunes for the Affordable Care Act.