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News outlets examine some of the key issues the Democrats could choose to take on, including the high cost of prescription drugs and improvements to the Affordable Care Act. In other election news, the Washington Post offers a fact check on how GOP candidates are talking about related issues on the campaign trail.
Once again, all eyes are on the federal health law’s exchanges to see how major changes instituted by Republicans will affect enrollment. In some areas, California is bucking those trends, as the state has allocated funds for outreach efforts, and short-term plans will not be offered under Covered California.
The pharmaceutical industry is bracing for what may come if Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) takes over leadership. “Democrats have made real action to lower prescription drug prices central” to the party’s campaign strategy. “It will be one of our first legislative priorities in the majority,” she tells Stat. And more news is reported on California’s propositions 4 and 1.
County workers are supposed to determine if someone is eligible for health coverage under California’s Medicaid program, and then send that information to the state. But the records don’t always match up.
An insurer that covers 160,000 Utah public employees and their families offers plane tickets to San Diego, transport to Tijuana and a $500 cash payout to patients who need expensive medicines for certain diseases like multiple sclerosis, cancer and autoimmune disorders. In other drug pricing news, the American Medical Association encourages the FTC to monitor spiking insulin costs.
Republicans seek to turn the tables on charges that they are undermining preexisting conditions, so they’re hammering the plans championed by some Democrats to expand Medicare. In California, a large nursing union shifts strategies to take its “Medicare for all” message to a national audience.
Covered California has begun its enrollment — and other exchanges created by the federal health law are set to open Nov. 1. But in some areas, people may find selecting a plan more difficult this year without navigators. Meanwhile, people who get their insurance through their jobs are also often picking plans this time of year and have a number of important choices.
Experts encourage seniors to take a look around for different coverage options, even if doing so in a local market with so many choices seems downright daunting.
“Unfortunately we don’t have the data to answer [why] directly,” said Susan Babey, one of the authors of the report. “But other research suggests that one possibility is that lesbian, gay and bisexual adults have experienced discrimination or not feeling welcome in health care settings in the past and so are avoiding repeating those kinds of experiences by delaying care even if they need to see a medical provider.”
Covered California officials are anticipating an enrollment drop now that the penalty for not buying coverage has been zeroed out. The anticipated departure of some consumers from the pool accounts for part of an 8.7 percent average rate increase next year for Obamacare plans offered by 11 insurers in California.