What’s New in Health Care Reform: March 29

What'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.


GOP Moderates Push Compromise after Death of Obamacare Repeal

Several Republican senators are seeking an unlikely compromise with Democrats following the demise of the House GOP plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. But the two sides appear far apart on what “bipartisanship” looks like. Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are hoping they can convince Democrats to back their health insurance overhaul, which would let states choose whether to keep or replace Obamacare. Via Morning Consult.

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Paul Ryan: House Republicans Will Continue Their Push for Health-Care Reform This Year

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan told Republican donors that he intends to continue pushing for an overhaul of the nation’s health-care system by working “on two tracks” as he also pursues other elements of President Trump’s agenda. “We are going to keep getting at this thing,” Ryan said three days after intraparty opposition forced him to pull the American Health Care Act after it became clear it did not have enough Republican votes to pass. Via Washington Post.

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Price Faces Unwanted Task of Administering Obamacare

Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price came into office last month ready to lead the charge on repealing Obamacare. Now, that effort has run into a brick wall, leaving him to oversee a law he fiercely opposes. President Trump last week predicted that Obamacare “soon will explode,” stirring speculation that the administration could seek to undermine the law. Yet there are also signs that Price and the Department of Health and Human Services will take a more pragmatic approach. Via The Hill.

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Ryan Pulls Health Care Bill in Face of Widespread Opposition

GOP leaders canceled a planned vote on their health insurance overhaul bill, dealing a major setback for Republicans looking to replace the Affordable Care Act and marking the first legislative failure for President Donald Trump. Republicans streaming out of the House GOP conference meeting on Friday afternoon told reporters that the legislative effort was dead and that leaders were moving on to other agenda items, such as tax reform. Via Morning Consult.

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What's Next after Obamacare's Latest Brush with Death?

Congress choked. Obamacare lives. House Republicans are at an unfamiliar crossroads after their seven-year effort to repeal the law collapsed. The direction they and the Trump administration choose will determine whether Obamacare survives, or faces new threats as political opposition continues to simmer and flaws recognized even by its supporters go unaddressed. Via Politico.

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Repeal of Affordable Care Act Is Back on Agenda, Republicans Say

Under extreme pressure from conservative activists, House Republican leaders and the White House have restarted negotiations on legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But efforts to revive the legislation in the House could take weeks, lawmakers conceded, as Congress moves forward with a full plate of other time-consuming issues. And the renewed push did not meet with much enthusiasm from Senate Republicans, who said they had other priorities at the moment. Via NY Times.

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Insurers Struggle to Plan for Future Amid Health Care Policy Vacuum

Health insurers have between two and three months to plan out what they’re doing in individual health markets next year, but last week’s implosion of the GOP health care bill has only added to uncertainty about the future of the marketplaces. With Republicans pulling their health care bill from the floor last week, insurers must figure out their 2018 plans and rate requests for participation in the Affordable Care Act exchanges without knowing whether the Trump administration will be friendly or hostile to the health care law that remains the law of the land, at least for now. Via Morning Consult.

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Top House Republicans Favor Funding Key Obamacare Payments

Key House Republicans on health care say they want to find a way to fund Obamacare payments that they previously sued the Obama administration over. The payments, known as cost-sharing reductions, reimburse insurers for providing discounted deductibles for low-income Obamacare enrollees. If the payments were canceled, insurers warn they could pull out of the market because of the hole left in their budgets, causing chaos. Via The Hill.

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Trump Could Blow up Obamacare with One Move

President Trump says that Obamacare is going to explode. But if that happens, it is likely because his administration supplies the spark that detonates the marketplaces. The White House could decide at any time to eliminate subsidies relied upon by insurers to lower costs for Obamacare’s poorest customers, as a result of a court win by House Republicans last spring. Via Politico.

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FBI Warns of Cybercriminals Targeting Health Care Servers

The FBI has warned health care organizations of cybercriminals targeting unsecured servers to launch coordinated cyberattacks and use stolen patient information to blackmail providers. Allowing anonymous access to File Transfer Protocol servers commonly used to transfer data has left health care institutions vulnerable to criminals that access protected health information and personally identifiable information “for the purposes of intimidating, harassing, and blackmailing business owners,” according to a private industry notification issued by the FBI. Via Fierce 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.