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Insurers, small businesses praise move to delay Obamacare health insurance tax

“Both groups praised the introduction of the bipartisan Health Insurance Premium Reduction Act in the House on Thursday, which would lift Obamacare’s tax on health insurance in 2020” reports washingtonexaminer.com. After logging a victory in Congress to suspend a controversial Obamacare tax beginning in 2019, health insurers and small businesses are now setting their sights on 2020.Congress and the Obama administration suspended the health insurance tax for 2017 as part of a spending bill, but it went back into effect in 2018.By suspending the health insurance tax, the federal government…

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The government’s scorekeeping agencies have revised their controversial estimate for how many more people would be uninsured as a result of changes Republicans and the Trump administration made to Obamacare.

“But others are excluded and either pay the full increase, go uninsured, or buy health insurance with fewer consumer protections” reports washingtonexaminer.com. To many of them, health insurance is less expensive because the federal government kicks in more.On the flip side, a lower number of uninsured would mean that the tax law results in fewer savings than Republicans touted.Previously the agencies estimated that 5 million fewer people would be enrolled in Medicaid, which is almost fully paid for by the government.Most people who buy health insurance through the exchanges, such…

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With the individual mandate dead, the rest of Obamacare is unconstitutional

“Similar arguments were made recently by 20 states and several other plaintiffs who filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in April claiming the Obamacare individual mandate is unconstitutional following the passage of tax reform” writes Ap Photo Evan for washingtonexaminer.com. As Scalia noted in 2012 when discussing the severability of the individual mandate, “The Act calls the Individual Mandate ‘an essential part’ of federal regulation of health insurance and warns that ‘the absence of the requirement would undercut Federal regulation of the health…

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Oregon’s seven Obamacare insurers are asking for an average nearly 8 percent rate increase for 2019, with some plans calling for hikes of as much as 16 percent.

“Several insurers listed the repeal of the individual mandate penalty as a contributing factor to their increases” writes Istock Photo for washingtonexaminer.com. Maryland, Virginia and Vermont insurers are seeking double-digit rate hikes, with some plans seeking increases as high as 90 percent.Oregon’s seven Obamacare insurers are asking for an average nearly 8 percent rate increase for 2019, with some plans calling for hikes of as much as 16 percent. Source: washingtonexaminer.com Share This:

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Lamar Alexander gives up on working with Democrats to fix Obamacare

“So far states like Maryland and Virginia have proposed double-digit rates for 2019, citing moves by the Trump administration as a primary driver” reports washingtonexaminer.com. These include requirements to cover essential health benefits such as hospitalization and maternity care and a prohibition from charging sick people higher premiums. Source: washingtonexaminer.com Share This:

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Democrats seize on Obamacare price increases ahead of midterms

“Senate Democrats are promising to battle Republicans by being “relentless” on “who exactly is to blame” for Obamacare price increases ahead of November’s midterm elections” reports washingtonexaminer.com. “Let me be clear: These increases in healthcare costs for families are a symptom of Republican sabotage,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a press conference Tuesday.State officials do not have to accept the proposals, and Maryland is considering a reinsurance fund that would help lower prices, but Democrats signaled they would draw attention to headlines about the rate increases as…

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Molina CEO considers return to some Obamacare markets

“Premium costs for silver plans rose 34 percent in 2018, according to a study by consulting firm Avalere” reports washingtonexaminer.com. Enrollment in bronze level plans increased, while membership in silver level plans decreased, according to Zubretsky.The plans start at bronze, with the lowest premium payments and highest treatment costs, and continue through silver, gold and platinum with progressively higher payments and increased coverage.Chief Executive Officer Joseph Zubretsky told investors on Monday that the insurer may resubmit price proposals for Utah and Wisconsin, but is still developing preliminary bids due in…

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The leader of California’s Obamacare exchange is urging the Trump administration to increase funding for advertising and marketing for the healthcare program during the next open enrollment, after the state’s own effort to increase enrollment fell flat.

“The Trump administration budgeted $10 million for outreach and $36 million for navigators, who help people sign up for the program” writes Alex Brandon Ap for washingtonexaminer.com. The amount California spent was higher than what the federal government spent to market healthcare.gov under the Trump administration during its last open enrollment.The leader of California’s Obamacare exchange is urging the Trump administration to increase funding for advertising and marketing for the healthcare program during the next open enrollment, after the state’s own effort to increase enrollment fell flat. Source: washingtonexaminer.com Share This:

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Anthem sees profits jump 30 percent after shedding Obamacare customers

“Health insurer Anthem saw a boost in profits during the first quarter after it decided to sell fewer Obamacare plans and instead focus on Medicare Advantage” writes Michael Conroy for washingtonexaminer.com. The company’s profits increased 30 percent, to $1.3 billion, compared to the first quarter of 2017, according to its latest earnings report. Source: washingtonexaminer.com Share This:

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Legislatures look to reinsurance programs, other measures to try to bring down prices

“Larry Hogan said when he signed into law a one-year reinsurance program last week” reports washingtonexaminer.com. A handful of states are considering legislation to approve their own version of the individual mandate, Tolbert said.Congress tried in March to pass legislation that created a $30 billion reinsurance program.Obamacare’s individual mandate, which requires people to buy health insurance, was repealed in the Republican tax legislation starting in 2019.Thirteen states have considered legislation this year to stabilize the exchanges, most of them seeking to create a reinsurance program and seek a necessary waiver…

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