More than 17 million people have filed for unemployment in the past four weeks as the novel coronavirus continues to drive the U.S. economy into recession. That means that millions are or soon will be without health insurance, and millions more will struggle to pay premiums and co-pays on insurance they do have. This puts even more pressure on hospital systems — already under enormous financial strain — because they are required to treat all patients with emergency conditions, including the uninsured.
The Trump administration said on Thursday that it would allow states to cap Medicaid spending for many poor adults, a major shift long sought by conservatives that gives states the option of reducing health benefits for millions who gained coverage through the program under the Affordable Care Act.
At a luxury resort just outside of the nation’s capital last month, around four dozen senior congressional staffers decamped for a weekend of relaxation and discussion at Salamander Resort & Spa. It was an opportunity for Democrats and Republicans to come together and listen to live music from the Trailer Grass Orchestra, sip surprisingly impressive glasses of Virginia wine — and hear from health care lobbyists focused on defeating Medicare for All.
Vermont’s foray into publicly financed health care — in a state that in many ways offered the optimal conditions — demonstrates the extraordinary difficulty of trying to convert progressives’ dream of a more just, efficient health system into reality.
Despite all the concern trolling, reading the financial press highlights the fact that corporate media oppose Medicare for All not because of legitimate queries and concerns about its implementation, but because they are owned by investors with stakes in maintaining the for-profit status quo
In an effort to inform the public about the corporate forces working to crush Medicare for All, an employee at the insurance giant UnitedHealthcare leaked a video of his boss bragging about the company's campaign to preserve America's for-profit healthcare system.
Nearly three-quarters of the American public and a historic number of Democratic lawmakers support Medicare for All, but the House Democratic leadership is considering using its newly won majority to impose a rule that would "recklessly betray" the grassroots forces that put them in power by making single-payer and other progressive priorities impossible to enact.
Clinics that provide abortions or refer patients to places that do would lose federal funding under a new Trump administration rule that takes direct aim at Planned Parenthood, according to three administration officials. The rule, which is to be announced Friday, is a top priority of social conservatives and is the latest move by President Trump to impose curbs on abortion rights, in this case by withholding money from any facility or program that promotes abortion or refers patients to a caregiver that will provide one.
President Trump will lay out on Friday a broad strategy to reduce prescription drug prices, but in a break from one of his most popular campaign promises, he will not call for Medicare to negotiate lower prices with drug manufacturers, senior administration officials said.
“Let’s be honest about what this is: President Trump and Republicans in Congress are looking to tear apart the bipartisan [CHIP], hurting middle-class families and low-income children, to appease the most conservative special interests and feel better about blowing up the deficit to give the wealthiest few and biggest corporations huge tax breaks,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Monday.
On Wednesday, President Trump fired Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin and said he’d replace him with White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson, a rear admiral in the Navy. Dr. Jackson has no experience running a large agency. Shulkin says he’s actually being ousted because of his opposition to privatizing the VA, which runs 1,700 hospitals and clinics.
The Senate tax bill is really a health care bill with major implications for more than 100 million Americans who rely on the federal government for their health insurance. The bill reaches into every major American health care program: Medicaid, Medicare, and the Obamacare marketplaces.
The Senate Republican tax plan gives substantial tax cuts and benefits to Americans earning more than $100,000 a year, while the nation’s poorest would be worse off, according to a report released Sunday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Democrats have repeatedly slammed the bill as a giveaway to the rich at the expense of the poor. In addition to lowering taxes for businesses and many individuals, the Senate bill also makes a major change to health insurance that the CBO projects would have a harsh impact on lower-income families.Office.
President Trump nominated a pharmaceutical executive, Alex Azar, to be the next secretary of the Health and Human Services Department. Mr. Azar’s nomination is likely to raise questions about Mr. Trump’s commitment to pressuring drug companies to lower prices in the United States.
On Tuesday morning, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) unveiled new criteria for evaluating pitches from states. Whereas in the past states had to prove that proposed changes would “increase and strengthen” health coverage of their low-income population, that requirement is gone, replaced with language that welcomes proposals for work requirements, drug tests and other hurdles that experts predict would reduce the Medicaid rolls by hundreds of thousands of people.
Open enrollment starts today. Don’t expect Trump to help. On Tuesday, Trump released a campaign-style video attacking the law. “Obamacare is failing,” the narrator intones. “Insurance premiums skyrocketing. Working families suffer. All while Democrats in Washington, DC, block a better plan to repeal and replace Obamacare once and for all.” The president has, of course, tweeted about it.
Millions of Americans with insurance through the Affordable Care Act could find themselves locked into health plans they do not want for the coming year because of the Trump administration’s schedule for the enrollment season that starts in less than two weeks.
President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday intended to circumvent the Affordable Care Act by making it easier for individuals and small business to buy different types of health plans with lower prices but also fewer benefits and protections.
The latest Obamacare repeal plan, known as Graham-Cassidy after the senators who proposed it, fundamentally does two big things: It cuts federal funding for health insurance, versus Obamacare, and takes money from the states that best implemented the Affordable Care Act and gives it to the states that obstructed the law.
In a city where they hold no formal reins of power, the two are helping to set the agenda on Capitol Hill. They cut a fiscal deal with Mr. Trump, then reached a tentative agreement to protect young immigrants in the country illegally from deportation. Now they face a tougher test: Killing the latest Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act and persuading the mercurial president to work with them to shore up shaky health insurance markets.
During a news briefing on Wednesday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made the administration’s case for prosecuting former FBI Director James Comey from the White House podium. In making the comments, Sanders is disregarding what was previously an important ethical standard — that the Justice Department has prosecutorial independence. The idea is that the Justice Department should decide who to prosecute based on a unbiased application of the law, not political pressure from the White House. This is something that neither Sanders or her boss seem to value.
Dire predictions of Obamacare’s collapse appear to be premature, as insurers have moved in to to provide coverage in almost every single “bare” county in the nation, including dozens of areas that until recently had no health insurance companies slated to sell plans on the individual market next year.
A wide array of groups that partnered for several years with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the White House to promote open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act say this year has brought a deafening silence from the Trump administration, with no sign the partnerships will continue. Both representatives of the former partner groups and former HHS officials say the relationships with gig economy companies, youth organizations, churches, women’s groups, and African American and Latino civil rights non-profits were critical to keeping Obamacare’s markets functioning, and their termination is a clear example of sabotage.
President Donald Trump is suggesting that the Senate’s top Republican should step aside if he can’t pass Trump’s legislative agenda. Trump says, “You can ask the question” about whether Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should remain in his position if he cannot pass a plan to repeal and replace health care, change the tax code and move an infrastructure proposal.
Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich appears regularly in the media to talk about his ideas for the future of health care in America without mentioning one very important fact: His consulting company advises a health insurance company.
President Trump predicted Tuesday morning that Republicans may wait for the federal insurance market to collapse and then work to broker a deal to rewrite the nation’s landmark health-care law. In a series of tweets, Trump blamed the demise of a months-long effort to rewrite the Affordable Care Act on Democrats “and a few Republicans,” but he suggested that the drive to overhaul the law was not completely over.
For all their griping about the ways Obamacare isn’t working, Republicans are leaving out one key fact: Many of the law’s troubles can be traced back to opposition and sabotage by Republicans themselves. From the very moment Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, Republicans were proclaiming that they would “repeal and replace” the law, and that threat has hovered over the implementation of the law ever since. But it’s not just broader rhetorical threats: Republicans at all levels of government have made specific policy decisions that have hurt Obamacare.
Eight years ago, Senator Mitch McConnell, who is now leading the repeal effort in the Senate, complained that the Affordable Care Act was “being written behind closed doors, without input from anyone.” But so far, Republican lawmakers have had just nine days of public activity on the repeal bill, compared with 43 for the Affordable Care Act during the same six-month period.
The Indiana Republican Party on Monday asked Facebook users to send in their “horror stories” about Obamacare in a post that readers instead flooded with stories about the legislation’s positive effects.
Donald Trump’s enthusiastic support for the Senate health care bill is proof that there is no such thing as Trumpism, and there never will be. Health care was the issue on which Trump had gone furthest to differentiate himself from traditional Republicans. “This is an un-Republican thing for me to say because a lot of times they say, ‘No, no, the lower 25 percent that can't afford private,’” he told Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes. “But I am going to take care of everybody. I don't care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody's going to be taken care of much better than they're taken care of now.”
Senate Republicans’ bill to erase major parts of the Affordable Care Act would cause an estimated 22 million more Americans to be uninsured by the end of the coming decade — only about a million fewer than similar legislation recently passed by the House, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Barack Obama sharply condemned the healthcare plan unveiled by Senate Republicans on Thursday as a “massive transfer of wealth” to the rich, at the expense of poor and middle-class Americans. “The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a healthcare bill,” Obama wrote. “It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America.”
Senate Republicans have introduced a draft of their bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. Details on the differences between the House and Senate versions have been included where possible.
Senate Republicans are driving at a breakneck speed to abolish Obamacare and throw more than twenty million people off their health insurance coverage. The damage will be far greater when you figure in the loss of protections for people with pre-existing conditions and those who’ve benefited from various other Obamacare regulations. Senate Republicans’ main weapon in this effort has been total secrecy, which has had the effect of killing debate and discussion since there’s actually nothing concrete – no specific CBO score or legislative text or even outline – to discuss.
s we noted a few weeks ago, the Iron Law of Republican Politics is that the GOP moderates always cave. But the cave is never without a stage managed drama. And that appears to be the part of the story we’re now entering. Axios just reported that Sen. Shelley Moore Capito is expressing concern over Medicaid cuts in the Senate Trumpcare bill. “I don’t look favorably on it, that’s for sure,” Capito told Axios. It’s been clear from the word go that taking an axe to Medicaid was the entire point of this exercise, indeed, an inevitable end point given the budgetary priorities.
The Congressional Budget Office, a provider of cost estimates for legislation, has been under intense pressure from top Trump administration officials. “We’re a nonpartisan place and we’re working in a partisan world and we get treated as if we’re partisan,” Mr. Hall, 60, said in an interview at his fourth-floor office, which sits in the shadow of the Capitol. “That’s unfortunate.” Most recently, the partisan pressure has been coming directly from top Trump administration officials.
As Donald Trump and congressional Republicans struggle to repeal Obamacare, Democrats in the nation’s most populous state are pushing a very different reform proposal that would radically change the way health care is paid for. Last week, the California Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill that would demolish the state’s current insurance plans and replace them with a single-payer system that would provide comprehensive treatment to all residents free of charge. The measure is still a long way from becoming law, but progressives already see it as a model for how states can expand access to care even as Republicans at the national level try to roll back coverage.
The Trump administration could soon give nearly all employers the ability to request an exemption to the birth control coverage mandate by citing religious or moral reasons, according to a leaked draft of the new rule obtained by Vox. “The extent that they’ve expanded the exception is pretty shocking,” Mara Gandal-Powers, Senior Counsel for the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), told ThinkProgress. “They’ve really opened the door to countless numbers of women having birth control exempted from their insurance coverage.”
The many meetings Republicans held to discuss a Senate health care bill have exposed deep fissures within the party that are almost as large as the differences between Republicans and Democrats. Elements of a bill that passed the House this month have divided Republicans. Mr. McConnell faces an increasingly onerous math problem. He can afford to lose only two Republicans if he is to get a bill through the Senate, and that would require the help of Vice President Mike Pence, who would have to cast the tiebreaking vote. But at least three senators in the party are diametrically opposed to the views of at least another three, so the path to agreement is narrow.
Forty Republican representatives who voted for the American Health Care Act held shares in health-care companies valued at $23 million and earned more than $2 million off those investments, a Daily Beast review of the most-recent financial records found.
Wondering what the country’s health-care system would look like under Trumpcare? Take a gander at Iowa, where the individual market is on the verge of collapse. Just one insurer remains in most of the state, and that insurer, Medica, is threatening to exit. Republicans love to point to Iowa’s struggles as evidence of Obamacare’s failures. But in reality, the Hawkeye State has functioned as a petri dish for the GOP’s health plan. The state’s problems provide useful lessons for what could go wrong if Trumpcare becomes law nationwide.
President Trump’s first major budget proposal on Tuesday will include massive cuts to Medicaid and call for changes to anti-poverty programs that would give states new power to limit a range of benefits, people familiar with the planning said, despite growing unease in Congress about cutting the safety net.
Four years after Texas gave up millions of dollars in federal Medicaid funds, a request presents an important early test for the Trump administration. If the administration agrees to restore the funding for Texas, it could effectively give states the greenlight to ban Planned Parenthood from Medicaid family planning programs with no financial consequences. “They’re asking the federal government to do a 180 on its Medicaid program rules,” said Elizabeth Nash, a policy analyst at the Guttmacher Institute, a research center that supports abortion rights. “And depending how this shakes out, you could see a number of other states follow suit.”
Members of Congress who voted for the controversial plan will be met by activists on the left, who are attempting to save the Affordable Care Act. The liberal resistance has vowed to hold Republicans who supported the healthcare bill to account by voting them out of office in the 2018 midterms. But Republicans have scoffed at that notion, arguing that they voted to fulfill a seven-year campaign promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.
After intense days of pressure from constituents and House leaders, all 14 California House Republicans joined their colleagues Thursday to vote for a GOP rollback of the Affordable Care Act. The American Health Care Act, which government estimates have said could lead to 24 million fewer Americans with health insurance and could substantially affect both those on Medicaid and those with employer-provided insurance, passed the House 217 to 213. It will now move on to the Senate, where it is expected to face multiple stumbling blocks.
Rich people do well. Sick people don’t. House Republicans have passed the American Health Care Act, a bill that would greatly reduce funding for Obamacare’s coverage programs, leaving millions fewer people with health insurance. The bill would dramatically remake the American health care system, changing who can afford coverage in the individual market — and who will be left uninsured. It also revealed new fault lines in the Republican Congress, showing who had the power to shift the bill’s priorities and who yielded little influence.
In voting to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, House Republicans finally delivered on a key Trump administration goal and on a campaign promise that they have made for the better part of a decade — but at a potentially steep price. By leaning on members to vote for a bill that many fear will take too much health care from too many people, Mr. Ryan has exposed moderate Republicans to withering political attack, especially in the roughly two dozen districts where Hillary Clinton prevailed, but also in places where the Affordable Care Act’s popularity has been increasing.
With all the sweeping changes the Republican bill would impose, little attention has been paid to its potential impact on education. School districts rely on Medicaid, the federal health care program for the poor, to provide costly services to millions of students with disabilities across the country. For nearly 30 years, Medicaid has helped school systems cover costs for special education services and equipment, from physical therapists to feeding tubes. The money is also used to provide preventive care, such as vision and hearing screenings, for other Medicaid-eligible children.
President’s targets include conservatives, Democrats and a possible veiled jab at Paul Ryan as Republican hand-wringing over repeal-and-replace failure continues. On Twitter on Sunday morning, Trump wrote: “Democrats are smiling in DC that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club for Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & O[bama]care.”
The judgment by the Congressional Budget Office did not back up the president’s promise of providing health care for everyone but may help bring in rebellious conservatives. The House Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act would increase the number of people without health insurance by 24 million by 2026, while slicing $337 billion off federal budget deficits over that time, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Monday.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) admitted Friday that the Congressional Budget Office will likely estimate that millions of people would lose health insurance under the GOP's proposed health care bill. But he said that the the bill wasn’t meant to address the “beauty contest” of increasing coverage.
The people who stand to lose the most in tax credits under the House Republican health plan tended to support Donald J. Trump over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, according to a new Upshot analysis. Over all, voters who would be eligible for a tax credit that would be at least $1,000 smaller than the subsidy they’re eligible for under Obamacare supported Mr. Trump over Hillary Clinton by a seven-point margin.
Maps comparing tax credits under the Affordable Care act and those in the plan House Republicans recently released across groups of incomes and ages. The biggest losers under the change would be older Americans with low incomes who live in high-cost areas. Those are the people who benefitedmost from Obamacare.
After weeks of promises, Republicans unveiled a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act with a plan that shrinks the government’s role in healthcare, and could leave more Americans without health insurance. Called the American Health Care Act, the bill would eliminate the individual mandate, which required Americans to have health insurance or pay a fine; cut the number of people insured under Medicaid; and allow insurance companies to charge the elderly up to five times more than the young.