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U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, ruling on a suit brought by opponents of the Affordable Care Act, says that the law was invalidated when Congress dropped the tax penalty for not having coverage. Advocates for the law say they will appeal the decision.
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.
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.
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.
“When it comes to health care, all politics is personal,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said of her decision to focus on the issue. In many of the most hotly contested House districts in this year midterms, health care was cited as the top issue for many voters, and the issue most likely to come up in campaign ads.
Democrats are hammering congressional Republicans who supported upending the Affordable Care Act, which guaranteed that people with medical problems could get coverage. GOP candidates and President Donald Trump vow that they would not take that away from patients, but they have not offered any plan.
Analysts credit the improved coverage rates to the state’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Latinos are the only group that still shows a significant disparity to other ethnic groups. And, now that the health law marketplaces are open for business, news outlets detail what’s different this year and offer consumers advice.
In California, the ongoing vaccination debate is influencing the state Senate race in District 6. And the dialysis ballot initiative is being watched nationally.
In health policy developments from around the country: Seema Verma’s tweet; the Trump administration’s decisions related to changes to Wisconsin Medicaid; the Food and Drug Administration clears first genetic test for consumers; and migrant detention.
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.