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“Everything they are doing at the federal level, we are doing the opposite,” said state Sen. Ed Hernandez.
Employers have long-chafed at what they see as the onerous rules that came with the Affordable Care Act. But now that Congress has killed the individual mandate, employers say that their requirements should be the next to go. Meanwhile, becomes the first state to get approval to impose work requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries.
Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) is calling the road map a list a list of options for “sabotage.” In other health law news, Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) continue to work on bipartisan legislation to stabilize the marketplaces.
After a weekend retreat with President Donald Trump, Republicans seem to have narrowed their focus for the year down to the basics. Although House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has previously announced that he’d like to tackle safety-net programs, others in the party have no interest in pursuing such issues during a campaign year.
Alex Azar, however, enjoys strong support from Republicans on the Finance Committee, so it’s unlikely the hearing will damage his path to confirmation.
Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon put the bill aside last year, calling it “woefully incomplete.”
Tired of playing defense and looking to capitalize on Republicans’ fumbles, Democrats are encouraging people in the party to think big, with ideas ranging from single-payer, government-run care for all, to new insurance options anchored in popular programs like Medicare or Medicaid. In other news from Capitol Hill: medical research legislation, entitlement overhaul, and “right-to-try” bills.
Republicans say that relaxing restrictions on association health plans will make coverage more affordable, but critics cite a history of fraud and abuse that has left employers and employees with hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid medical bills.
Because of the Trump administration’s decision to end insurer subsidies, the government may actually pay more into the system at the same time that healthier people may flee the marketplace because the mandate has been repealed.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services say more than 8.8 million people have signed up in 39 states, which is a slight decrease from last year’s 9.2 million. Heading into the enrollment season many experts anticipated a steeper dip because the Trump administration slashed the outreach budget and cut the sign-up period in half.