- Insurers have to propose their 2018 Obamacare prices in coming weeks.
- Uncertainty over the fate of key Obamacare subsidies is expected to lead to higher prices.
- Insurers also could leave the individual health plan market because of that uncertainty.
House Republicans crafted a health-care bill behind closed doors and passed it quickly, and now Senate Republicans are attempting to do the same. Few GOP senators even know what’s in the bill that could come to a vote next week, some GOP senators are speaking out, and analysts say the secretive nature of this process appears to be unprecedented.
“I’ve never seen anything like it, as far as the secrecy,” Paul Ginsburg, a health policy expert at the University of Southern California, told The Fix’s Amber Phillips on Monday. Over at the Monkey Cage, meanwhile, George Washington University’s congressional expert Sarah Binder lays out four ways in which the secrecy goes above and beyond.
Senators are seriously considering keeping in place some ObamaCare taxes for longer than the House-passed bill would as they seek to draft healthcare legislation that can pass their chamber with a simple majority.
Republicans are looking to slowly phase out extra federal funds for Medicaid expansion, beef up the new tax credits for buying insurance and add money for opioid abuse treatment — but they’ll have to pay for it to ensure the bill passes muster.
That’s because the Senate healthcare bill must save at least as much money as the House’s legislation.
A key part of Senate Republicans’ new health care bill could get derailed over abortion restrictions, according to several GOP sources, a potential setback in their effort to repeal Obamacare.
Republicans want to enact new tax subsidies to help people buy insurance on the exchanges — but they want to include prohibitions on abortion coverage. The House had seemed to settle the matter, when both more centrist and conservative GOP senators accepted language that follows the Hyde amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding for abortion.
President Trump summoned Republican leaders to the White House on Tuesday to discuss his summer legislative agenda, but progress is being stalled by the GOP’s inability to fulfill its long promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Lacking a consensus over how to gut the Affordable Care Act without leaving millions more Americans uninsured — as the House GOP’s bill would do — Senate Republicans now face a legislative logjam that could imperil other priorities, such as tax reform and infrastructure.
Anthem on Tuesday announced it would not participate in the individual health-insurance exchanges in Ohio for the 2018 plan year. That could leave 20 counties in the state without any plans on the marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare law better known as Obamacare.
In a statement to Business Insider, Anthem cited “continual changes in federal operations, rules, and guidance” as its primary reason for exiting the marketplaces.
The insurer said disruptions in the market because of possible policy changes from the Trump administration and lawmakers on Capitol Hill led to the decision.
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said Wednesday that the Senate will pass a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare before Congress leaves on its annual August recess.
In an interview on KFYO’s “The Chad Hasty Show,” the Texas Republican was asked if the Senate could get a repeal and replace plan by the end of the year done.
“Oh, absolutely,” Cornyn said. “We’ll get it done by the end of July at the latest.”
Cornyn said he suspects the upper chamber will resolve the health care issue “in the next few weeks” and that lawmakers have “no choice” but to tackle it since, he said, “Obamacare is in meltdown.”
Democrats are crowing over the Congressional Budget Office projection that the House-passed health care bill would leave 23 million fewer Americans with insurance as of 2027 than if ObamaCare stayed intact — while ignoring the fact that ObamaCare can’t remain intact.
That is, the CBO guesstimates are comparing the GOP bill to a fantasy.
We’ve written before of how insurers are fleeing the ObamaCare exchanges because they’re losing too much money. If the law goes unchanged, the nation will soon start seeing “insurance deserts” where no one’s offering exchange coverage. The CBO doesn’t account for that.
For a myopic view of Obamacare’s effect on small business, one can look at its results in Louisville, Kentucky. The state saw one of the biggest drops in uninsured individuals under the Affordable Care Act, from 20.4 percent in 2013 to 7.8 percent in 2016, largely in part to the state’s expansion of Medicaid. The state operated its own Obamacare marketplace for two years before moving to the federal exchange in 2017, where today only three insurance companies offer coverage on exchange.
Of late, Louisville has become a flashpoint for the GOP to tout its plans to repeal and replace, with visits from both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in recent months to talk about why the ACA isn’t working in the state, or elsewhere.