What’s New in Health Care Reform: Nov. 16

woman-caregiver-with-older-african-american-woman-diversity-alzheimersWhat's New in Health Care Reform provides an overview of the past week’s news, updates, and commentary in health care reform and utilization management.


Insurers Brace for Obamacare Upheaval

President-elect Donald Trump says he wants to repeal Obamacare but keep the protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Achieving that will be easier said than done. Insurance companies warn that requiring them to cover anyone, regardless of their health status, could have disastrous consequences if not paired with the right policies. Via The Hill.

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Despite Anger at Health Law’s Mandate, GOP Plans Could Also Have Penalties

The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that people have health insurance or pay a fine is one of the least popular provisions of the law, and one that Republicans have pledged to eliminate when they repeal and replace Obamacare. But take a look at some of the conservative replacement proposals that are floating around and it becomes clear that the “individual mandate,” as it’s called, could still exist, but in another guise. The health law’s mandate doesn’t actually require people to have insurance. Instead, it imposes a tax penalty on most people if they don’t have coverage. In 2016, the penalty is the greater of $695 per person or 2.5% of household income. Via Kaiser Health News.

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Trump to Consider Leaving Parts of Obamacare in Place

President-elect Donald Trump says he will consider leaving certain parts of the Affordable Care Act in place, a shift from his campaign vow to repeal and replace the health law. Trump told The Wall Street Journal in an interview that he was interested in maintaining a provision of the law barring insurers from denying coverage to patients with pre-existing conditions and allowing young adults to remain on their parents’ health insurance until age 26. Both protections included in the law are widely popular, and congressional Republicans have previously suggested that they would continue under GOP health reform. Via Morning Consult.

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What "Trumpcare" Will Look Like

Donald Trump’s election has placed Obamacare on the gallows, as the candidate has repeatedly vowed to repeal and replace it. The precise plans for its execution are unclear. Republicans may not be able to fully repeal Obamacare, lacking a 60-senator majority. However, President-elect Trump and Congress could gut his predecessor’s major project using a budgetary process called reconciliation. As Georgetown professor of health policy Jack Hoadley told NPR, “They are probably, practically speaking, talking about leaving the ACA, as is, in place.” Via Yahoo! Finance.

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Updated Trump Health Proposals Still Leave Questions

President-elect Donald Trump’s most updated health care proposals don’t say whether a Trump health care policy would require insurers to cover pre-existing conditions or whether the law would continue an expanded Medicaid program. Those are two of several questions that advocates and observers are posing about how Trump plans to replace the Affordable Care Act, which bars insurers from denying covering to people with pre-existing health conditions. Via Morning Consult.

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Trump Outlines Health Plan, from Obamacare Repeal to Abortion

President-elect Donald Trump outlined some pieces of his health-care program, largely following ideas he laid out during his campaign, from a repeal of Obamacare, his predecessor’s signature health law, to language indicating opposition to abortion. The brief, 310-word plan gives few details about how Trump will replace the Affordable Care Act, except that it would include health savings accounts and an ability for insurers to sell coverage across state lines. Via Bloomberg.

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Best Day Yet for 2017 Obamacare Sign-Ups

More people signed up for health insurance through HealthCare.gov Wednesday, the day after Donald Trump was elected the next U.S. president, than any other day so far of the open enrollment period. Via Morning Consult.

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Millions Could Lose Medicaid Coverage under Trump Plan

Millions of low-income Americans on Medicaid could lose their health coverage if President-elect Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress follow through on GOP proposals to cut spending in the state-federal insurance program. The biggest risk for Medicaid beneficiaries comes from pledges by Trump and other Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which provided federal funding to states to expand Medicaid eligibility starting in 2014. Thirty-one states and Washington, D.C. did so, adding 15.7 million people to the program, according to the government. About 73 million are now enrolled in Medicaid—about half are children. Via Kaiser Health News.

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Health Care Experts Call for Special Session as Rising MNsure Costs Loom

Minnesota’s top health care experts came to the Capitol with a sense of urgency, trying to understand why insurance rates for many ordinary Minnesotans on MNsure will suddenly rise up to 67% in January. They are calling for a special session—soon. “They really can’t wait for next year or the next session,” said Rep. Matt Dean (R) of the Health and Human Services Finance Committee. Via WCCO.

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Trump Picks "A-Team" for Health Care Transition as ACA Repeal Looms

Sources say President-elect Donald Trump's transition team for HHS will be led by Andrew Bremberg, who worked at the agency under President George W. Bush and was an adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and during Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's presidential bid. Bremberg was on Walker's team when the candidate unveiled a health care proposal that included repealing the Affordable Care Act and splitting Medicaid into smaller programs with separate funding. Via Modern Healthcare.

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Andy Tofilon

Andy Tofilon is a Marketing Segment Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories. He leads strategies for corporate communications, public relations, and new media innovations. Andy has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2003. Outside of work, Andy can be found running, hiking, snapping photos, and most importantly, spending time with his family.