Jueves, 22 Junio, 2017

Health insurers ask Trump administration for reassurance on Obamacare

Galeno Paniagua | 21 Abril, 2017, 19:44

However, one week ago, Trump told the Wall Street Journal he was considering a freeze on subsidies in order to strong-arm the Democrats into supporting the American Healthcare Act, which was withdrawn before a congressional vote in March because of limited support.

Or, as health insurance industry expert Bob Laszewski put it: Republicans "have to decide right now if they're going to stabilize this market or they're going to contribute to its blowing up - because they can do both right now".

"On behalf of the nation's state insurance commissioners, the primary regulators of USA insurance markets, we write today to urge Congress to fully fund the cost-sharing reduction payments for FY2017 in the upcoming continuing resolution, and to commit to fully funding the program for FY2018", the letter, sent to congressional leaders of both parties, said. The Department of Health & Human Services pushed back the federal deadline until June 21, and many states followed suit.

Without those payments, insurance companies could raise rates across the board, making insurance unaffordable for many more people.

The CSR payments, which help lower-income Obamacare enrollees afford out-of-pocket costs, are at the center of a lawsuit brought against the Obama administration by House Republicans.

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"We are concerned and it's not just rural areas, it's a lot of different areas but. the rural areas can be hit the hardest here", Joanna Hiatt Kim, vice president of payment policy for the American Hospital Association, told The Hill Extra.

"If they approve it, then I will have to approve it", he said. "Otherwise, those payments don't get made and Obamacare is gone, just gone".

In 2016 a federal judge ruled against the Obama administration but allowed the Obama White House to continue providing Obamacare subsidies while the administration appealed the decision.

The insurance industry has also praised a set of rules released by the Trump administration on April 13 that were created to make Obamacare more profitable for insurers.

Of course, trying to legislate this way is as pathetic as it is risky, and there's little to suggest GOP lawmakers are prepared to put themselves at risk, simply to satisfy a symbolic goal meant to make Trump feel better about himself.

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If President Trump does leave the future of cost-sharing payments to Congress, he could saddle Republicans with the messy work of precipitating the law's collapse.

"Our objective remains the same-to help millions of Americans access the health insurance they need at an affordable cost", Molina said in a statement. "We could easily see millions of people losing insurance and there would no doubt be all kinds of finger pointing about who is to blame".

The New England Patriots visited the White House on Wednesday for the customary celebratory visit with the president bestowed upon championship-winning teams.

Levitt believes the law is fundamentally stable across most of the country with a few exceptions - Tennessee, Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina and Nebraska - where the marketplaces were struggling. The Affordable Care Act requires the government to reimburse insurance companies, but lawmakers apparently failed to include a provision to explicitly "appropriate" money for these payments. "There's really no sign that Obamacare is exploding on its own".

Health insurance companies pressed the Trump administration to take a stance on the subsidies - as deadlines loom in the following weeks to set health insurance rates - and whether they will exit the Obamacare exchanges.

Cases of hepatitis B and C hit 325 million worldwide
For hepatitis B there is a highly effective vaccine, and lifelong treatment, Hinschall said, and for hepatitis C there is a cure. However, most of the 325 million people infected are completely unaware they have the virus and some lack life-saving medicines.

But that power is the reason Republicans must figure out what they're going to do - soon, argued Laszewski.

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