Latest Morning Briefing Stories
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.
Republicans still maintain control of the Senate and the White House, so Democrats’ election-season promises to shore up the health law may not be quite as easy to fulfill as promised. Meanwhile, sign-ups on the exchanges continues to drag from last year’s numbers, but the CMS numbers don’t include enrollment in states that operate their own exchanges, nor do they include those who will be automatically enrolled in plans during the last week of open enrollment.
The Justice Department’s decision earlier in the year not to defend the ACA against a suit challenging the law’s constitutionality prompted three Justice Department career attorneys to withdraw from the case. Now Rep Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) says the House Judiciary Committee will investigate the department’s refusal to defend a federal statute.
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.
Some experts are worried the slower rate is a grim sign of things to come, but others say there are reasons the numbers might be lower — such as consumers being distracted by the election in early November.
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.
The Democrats have made it clear that they think “health care was on the ballot and health care won.” Now that they have some power in the House, here’s what some of their top priorities will likely be.
The potential vote would serve as an intervention in the health lawsuit working its way through the courts. It would also force Republicans to go on record almost immediately against the popular provisions of the ACA, such as protections for preexisting conditions.
The policy change is much more narrow than a previous proposed rule that is now stuck in the courts, and applies mainly to religious organizations, nonprofits and small businesses. Advocates, however, are already vowing to fight the rule in court.
“I think it is very obvious that a Democratic House is not going to be interested in” changes to the health law, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said. The battle over health care will likely shift toward “Medicare for all,” a plan touted by the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Meanwhile, 26 percent of voters said health care was the most important issue for them in deciding their vote, and three out of four voters who listed health care as their top issue voted for Democrats.