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Media outlets look at how the continued partial government shutdown is felt across the health care industry. Insurers say rule-making delays have left them scrambling to make key decisions about future participation in the ACA’s health-insurance exchanges; funding for Native American health services dwindles; and more consequences.
A new report has found that the percentage of adults without health insurance climbed to 13.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, from 12.4 percent a year earlier and a low of 10.9 percent in 2016.
The decision came a day after a separate judge in California blocked the rules for a handful of states and D.C. Pennsylvania and New Jersey had challenged the exemptions by arguing that the burden would fall to the states to provide contraception to women who lost coverage. “The states’ harm is not merely speculative; it is actual and imminent,” U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone wrote.
The vote forced House Republicans to go on record against the health law and its popular provisions — such as protections for preexisting conditions — which were big winners in the midterm elections.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has been aggressive in his legal challenges to President Donald Trump’s policies, including ones that have tried to chip away at the health law. The Associated Press offers a profile of the man heading up the defense of the Affordable Care Act in court.
“We should be the guys and gals that are putting up things that make health care more affordable and more accessible,” said Jim McLaughlin, another Republican pollster. “No question Democrats had an advantage over us on health care.”
A Harvard/Politico poll geared to take the temperature of Americans’ health care views found that while support for a plan like “Medicare for All” was mostly coming from Democrats, even Republicans were receptive to allowing Americans under 65 to buy into Medicare as another option. Americans from both parties were also in overwhelming agreement that lawmakers should make sure insurance companies provide coverage to people with pre-existing conditions
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) says he will also create a state surgeon general position via executive order and make California the first state to cover immigrants without legal status who are younger than 26 through Medi-Cal. Newsom did not provide details during his inauguration speech about how he is going to pay for these health care goals, though Democrats in the Legislature are generally supportive of his ideas.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is leading the coalition of Democratic states that is defending the health law in court, but that’s just one of the ways Becerra has used his position to try to thwart the administration. Meanwhile, the House is taking steps to formally intervene in the suit.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ushered in the 116th Congress on Thursday, outlining an agenda that focused on health care and preexisting conditions. The shutdown, however, hung over the celebration of the newly sworn-in members.