The 202: Trump has a backdoor method to lift Obamacare regulations

The Health 202: Trump has a backdoor way to lift Obamacare regulations


If at first you don’t succeed from repealing Obamacare, try, try once again â€? with an executive order.

President Trump, desperate for a health-care win that Congress couldn’t hands him, is pursuing a backdoor way of letting more Americans purchase insurance plans free of the Obamacare rules that Republicans have blamed regarding big premium hikes and expensive deductibles.

This week, their White House is finalizing a good executive order to allow the development of what’s known as association health programs â€? something Trump recently promised to “take care of a tremendous number of people” in the absence of a GOP replacement of the Affordable Care Work. In a tweet this morning, the particular president promised it will give “great healthcare to many people. “

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky. ), who hasn’t supported a lot of Trump’s agenda, chimed in:

Here’s how association plans would work: By banding together to buy coverage, individuals plus small businesses could join the large team insurance market, which is exempt from your ACA’s requirement that individual and little group plans cover what are referred to as essential health benefits. These association programs could be formed by trade groupings, professional organizations or community groupings with the idea of expanding options for consumers and possibly lowering their costs.

In theory, letting people buy cheaper, leaner plans sounds great. Until you’re diagnosed with a chronic condition or serious disease. Experts say that if insurers are allowed to sell stripped-down plans, the move will prompt healthy people to exit the Obamacare marketplaces and flock to those plans instead.

“Allowing individuals or small groups to join plans that avoid those rules would likely result in the deterioration of the marketplaces,” Cori Uccello, a senior health fellow for the American Academy of Actuaries, told me.

We don’t yet know exactly how the whole thing works â€? and the Trump administration is confined by existing law regulating the individual and group insurance markets (including both the 2010 Affordable Care Act and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974).

But the underlying idea is to return to the pre-ACA days when insurers could sell a much wider variety of services and products on the individual market â€? including plans that perhaps cover only catastrophic events or severely restrict entire categories of care.

We’ve seen this before â€? in Congress. The approach is similar to what House and Senate Republicans tried to accomplish in their failed Obamacare rollback bills.

The House’s American Healthcare Act and the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act allowed states to get waivers from various ACA regulations. Senate Republicans also added a measure from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex. ) that would have got allowed insurers to sell plans without any Obamacare regulations as long as they marketed one ACA-compliant plan.

Republicans have said their aim had been to lower costs for consumers, quarrelling that mandating expansive benefit deals unnecessarily raised prices for everyone.

“If these individuals can join large groups across state lines, I think they’ll get protection, less expensive insurance, and really it will solve a lot of the problems we have in the individual market,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky. ), that has been working with the administration for the executive order, said on MSNBC last month.

Watch Trump make a similar boast if he or she rolls out his executive order immediately. He’s already promised it will “cover a lot of territory and a lot of people.” The president will frame the initiative as a huge stride forward in the energy to undo the ACA.

And, depending on the exact details of the particular executive order, he may be correct.


AHH:  California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has signed a new law believed as the nation’s most comprehensive measure aimed from shining a light on prescription medication pricing, The Mercury Information reports.  Effective in January, it aims to make drug prices for each public and private health programs more transparent by requiring pharmaceutical businesses to notify health insurers plus government health plans at least 60 days before scheduled price hikes going above 16 percent over a two-year time period. It would also force drug businesses to explain the reasons behind big increases.

“The essence of this bill is pretty simple,” Brown said. “Californians have a right to know why their medical costs are out of control, especially when the pharmaceutical profits are soaring. That’s the take-away message.”

The new law is strongly compared by the pharmaceutical industry, which got spent millions on lobbyists plus ads to defeat it. The particular industry fears the law could become a nationwide model and the first major action toward price controls.

“It is disappointing that Gov. Brown has decided to sign a bill that is based on misleading rhetoric instead of what’s in the best interest of patients,” PhRMA spokeswoman Priscilla VanderVeer told The particular Mercury News.

OOF: Are Republicans ready to confess their failure to repeal Obamacare after 7 years of promising it? Probably, just maybe, Politico’s Jennifer Haberkorn reports. Jen writes that while some Republicans and members of the Trump administration are insisting publicly that they can get to Obamacare repeal in 2018, other GOP lawmakers are privately acknowledging it may never happen.

“Personally, I don’t see it,” Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) said. “I just don’t know how you can reconcile a bill you’ve taken two whiffs at already and couldn’t get the votes.”

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N. D. ), chairman of the hard-line Home Freedom Caucus put it this way: “Anytime you fumble twice, there’s the anticipation that you’ll fumble for the third time,” he said, adding Republicans might have the “credibility” but not the “believability.”

“Republicans are torn between the strength of their longtime rallying cry towards Obamacare â€? so popular with GOP donors and their base it helped flip both houses associated with Congress and the White House â€? and the reality they’ve wasted 9 months of what is supposed to be the most efficient time of a new administration failing to obtain it done, ” Jen produces.  

OUCH:  Who has got the Affordable Care Act left even worse off? The healthy people who purchase their own coverage but earn excessive to qualify for help paying their particular premiums,  Kaiser Health News’s Julie Rovner explains. And to top it off, the premium hikes that are being announced as registration looms for next year â€? in certain states, increases topping 50 % â€? will make their situations even worse.

How many people fall into this particular category and who are they?  There are 7. 5 million people, or even 43 percent of the total person market, who make up this team. They’re early retirees;  people operating part-time who have substantial outside earnings;  people who are self-employed of any kind of age;  and people who are small companies. Perhaps not so incidentally, this team is also more likely to vote Republican.


The Trump administration recently claimed the Usa States is one of just seven nations allowing elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, in a declaration backing a bill the House passed a week ago.  

Abortion foes have lengthy argued the United States has especially generous abortion laws compared to most other nations. But is that really true? Post Fact Checker Michelle Ye Hee Shelter dug deeper. Here’s what she discovered:

The facts:  The way to obtain this claim is a 2014 report by antiabortion group SBA List’s Charlotte Lozier Institute, which analyzed abortion laws and regulations in 198 countries. Its survey says there are 59 countries that will allow abortion “without restriction concerning reason, â€? or “elective,” or even “abortion on demand.” Only seven of the 59 nations allow elective abortions after 20 weeks, the group found: Canada, Cina, Netherlands, North Korea, Singapore, america and Vietnam.

This listing of countries correlates with another similar survey, also from 2014, published with the Center for Reproductive Rights, which usually supports abortion rights. That group’s report found 61 countries that will allow abortion “without restriction concerning reason. ” Most of the countries a new 12-week gestational limit on abortions.

Here’s a look at the 7 countries allowing elective abortions right after 20 weeks. Michelle sorted them from your most liberal on gestational limitations to the least:

North Korea and Vietnam:  No specified gestational restrict, though regulatory mechanisms vary.

China: “Abortion is practically freely available in China, and you can find no defined time limits regarding access to the procedure, ” according to Pew Analysis Center. China now has a “two-child” policy, and human-rights advocates have got criticized China’s population and loved ones planning laws.

United Declares:  No federal ban,  but 43 states have prohibitions on gestational limits – from 20 to 24 weeks, or the point of “viability,  according to the Guttmacher Institute, the reproductive-rights research group. There are some conditions made, usually for the life or even health of the mother.

Canada:  No federal gestational limit, yet provinces and territories vary as to whether or not they will offer abortion services after a specific gestational age. Some offer child killingilligal baby killing services up to 12 weeks, other people up to 24 weeks.  

Netherlands: Abortions are allowed up in order to 24 weeks. After that period, abortions are allowed only if the unborn fetus has an untreatable disease plus would have little to no possibility of survival after birth, or regarding the physical or mental health of the particular pregnant woman.

Singapore: Abortions are allowed up to 24 days. After that, abortions are only allowed to conserve the life of, or to preserve the actual or mental health of, the girl.

A few caveats: Of course ,  the fact that elective illigal baby killing is legal in certain countries isn’t going to mean all women in them get access to abortion services or to clinics, Michelle writes.  Plus,  the quality plus level of health care in those seven countries is not equal; for example , health care in the United States actually can’t be compared to services within North Korea. Additionally , there are over seven countries that allow child killingilligal baby killing services after 20 weeks within limited circumstances, including to save the life span of the mother.  

The bottom line:  Overall, the data do back up what he claims that just seven countries from 198 in the world allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of being pregnant. “What is telling [is] that will research from both sides from the reproductive rights debate confirm this particular figure, ” Michelle writes.  “It’s not easy to boil down complicated abortion laws in a cross-comparative way like this, and there are some minor caveats associated with this talking point. Nevertheless,  we did not find the caveats increase to the level of One Pinocchio. “

And here are a few more good scans from The Post and beyond:



— Twitter required down an ad posted simply by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn. ), chair of a special panel that will investigated claims that abortion legal rights groups sold fetal tissue, which usually said she stopped the promoting of “baby body parts. ” Blackburn posted the ad in launching her campaign to replace retiring Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn. ).

“Blackburn’s campaign announced Twitter’s choice on Monday after a representative through Twitter informed her campaign the line ‘had been deemed a good inflammatory statement that is likely to stimulate a strong negative reaction. ‘ The vocabulary violates Twitter’s policy for commercials, the company said, ” according to the Tennessean. “Although Twitter blocked the video being an online ad, Blackburn is permitted to share it on her campaign Tweets account. “

Blackburn wasn’t deterred, however , since the issue was an immediate appeal to social conservatives in Tn. Indeed, she used the decision in order to fundraiser. And posted this reponse:


Coming Up

  • The House Power and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations holds a hearing on the particular 340B Drug Pricing Program on Wednesday.
  • The House Energy plus Commerce Subcommittee on Health keeps a hearing on the opioid crisis on Wednesday.
  • The Bipartisan Policy Middle holds an event on retirement on Wednesday.
  • The Section National MACRA MIPS/APM Summit begins on Wednesday.
  • The U. S i9000. Chamber of Commerce holds an event on the opioid epidemic on Thursday.


Here’s what you need to know about President Trump’s argument with Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn. ):  

A list of senators who have questioned President Trump’s character:

Ivana and Melania Trump’s feud, explained:

Watch Stephen Colbert and an interview with “President Jump Shot: “ 

Jimmy Kimmel talks about their Twitter fight with Donald Trump Junior


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