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4. Political Cartoon: 'Long Arm Of The Law?'

Kaiser Health News provides a fresh take on health policy developments with "Political Cartoon: 'Long Arm Of The Law?'" by Ann Telnaes.

Here's today's health policy haiku:

SOME SENIORS LIGHT UP OVER TREND TO LEGALIZE MARIJUANA FOR MEDICAL, RECREATIONAL USE

Those boomers now see
The “mainstreaming” of pot as
Reason for a toke.

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Summaries Of The News:

Health Law

5. 30M Would Be Uninsured If 'Replace' Stalls After 'Repeal' Goes Through, Report Finds

The Urban Institute study found that 22.5 million people would lose coverage directly due to repeal of the law, while another 7.3 million would become uninsured because of the ripple effects of market upheavals.

The Associated Press: Study: 'Obamacare' Repeal-Only Would Make 30M Uninsured
Repealing President Barack Obama's health care law without a clear replacement risks making nearly 30 million people uninsured, according to a study released Wednesday. Republicans say that won't happen because they are working on replacement legislation for a President Donald Trump to sign. Nonetheless, the complex two-stage strategy the GOP Congress is contemplating has raised concerns. (Alonso-Zaldivar, 12/7)

The Hill: Study: Uninsured Rate Could Rise Above Pre-ObamaCare Levels Under Repeal 
Repealing ObamaCare would drive the nation’s uninsured population to levels even higher than before the law went into effect, according to an Urban Institute study released Wednesday. The number of uninsured people would more than double to 29.8 million people by the end of President Trump’s first term, with the biggest impact hitting lower-income families, the nonpartisan analysis found.  (Ferris, 12/7)

The Washington Post: How Repealing Obamacare Would Punish The Working Class
The number of people without health insurance could more than double under Republican plans to repeal President Obama's Affordable Care Act, reaching nearly 59 million — or more than one in four Americans, according to a new analysis published Wednesday. The figures illustrate the challenges for newly empowered Republicans who, having won the presidential election after pledging to ease the financial burdens on the American working class, must work out the details of how they will deliver on their promises. (Ehrenfreund, 12/7)

6. Insurers Fire Warning Shot With List Of Demands For Replacement Plan

The companies say they need a firm commitment from Republicans that the government will continue offsetting some costs for low-income people and that rules encouraging young and healthy people to sign up will be kept in place. However, they did say they're willing to relent on the individual mandate.

The New York Times: Health Insurers List Demands If Affordable Care Act Is Killed
The nation’s health insurers, resigned to the idea that Republicans will repeal the Affordable Care Act, on Tuesday publicly outlined for the first time what the industry wants to stay in the state marketplaces, which have provided millions of Americans with insurance under the law. The insurers, some which have already started leaving the marketplaces because they are losing money, say they need a clear commitment from the Trump administration and congressional leaders that the government will continue offsetting some costs for low-income people. (Abelson, 12/6)

Bloomberg: Health Insurers Willing To Give Up A Key Obamacare Provision 
U.S. health insurers signaled Tuesday that they’re willing to give up a cornerstone provision of Obamacare that requires all Americans to have insurance, replacing it with a different set of incentives less loathed by Republicans who have promised to repeal the law. Known as the “individual mandate,” the rule was a major priority for the insurance industry when the Affordable Care Act was legislated, and also became a focal point of opposition for Republicans. In a position paper released Tuesday -- the first since President-elect Donald Trump’s victory -- health insurers laid out changes they’d be willing to accept. (Tracer, 12/6)

Reuters: U.S. Insurer Lobby Group Seeks Delay In 2018 Obamacare Deadline
The largest lobbying group for health insurers has asked U.S. lawmakers weighing the fate of Obamacare to push back the due date for 2018 individual insurance submissions to regulators in hopes of obtaining greater clarity on the program's future later on. Republican leaders including President-elect Donald Trump and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have said they are keen to repeal President Barack Obama's signature health insurance program, the Affordable Care Act, which provides coverage to millions of Americans. (Humer, 12/6)

7. Repeal Could Trigger 'Unprecedented Public Health Crisis,' Hospitals Warn

It would “decimate hospitals’ ability to provide services, weaken local economies and result in massive job losses," The American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals say in a new report.

The Washington Post: Hospitals Warn Trump, Congress Of Massive Losses With Affordable Care Act Repeal
The nation’s hospital industry warned President-elect Trump and congressional leaders on Tuesday that repealing the Affordable Care Act could cost hospitals $165 billion by the middle of the next decade and trigger “an unprecedented public health crisis.” The two main trade groups for U.S. hospitals dispatched a letter to the incoming president and Capitol Hill’s top four leaders, saying that the government should help hospitals avoid massive financial losses if the law is rescinded in a way that causes a surge of uninsured patients. (Goldstein, 12/6)

The Hill: Hospitals Gear Up For Major Offensive Against ObamaCare Repeal 
A powerful coalition of hospitals is previewing a fierce attack against GOP leaders if lawmakers follow through on their promise to repeal ObamaCare next year. The American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals on Tuesday fired off a damning new report warning that its industry stood to take a massive financial hit under the repeal of ObamaCare. (Ferris, 12/6)

Modern Healthcare: Hospitals Warn Of Job Losses, Billions In Cuts If Trump Repeals ACA 
The nation's hospital lobbying groups are warning that President-elect Donald Trump's promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act could lead to massive service cuts, layoffs and hospital closures if an adequate replacement is not developed. Assuming Congress uses the most recent ACA repeal bill, H.R. 3762, the loss of coverage would have a net negative impact on hospitals of $165.8 billion from 2018 to 2026. If the ACA's Medicare reductions are maintained, hospitals will suffer additional losses of $289.5 billion from reductions in their inflation updates, according to a report prepared by healthcare economics firm Dobson DaVanzo & Associates on behalf of the American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals. (Dickson, 12/6)

CQ HealthBeat: Hospitals Expect Job Losses If Obamacare Is Killed, Not Replaced
Hospital groups unveiled one of their opening arguments against Congress repealing the 2010 health care law, warning that it could trigger widespread job cuts for medical professionals. The American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals on Tuesday called on President-elect Donald Trump and members of Congress to protect federal funding for hospitals and their patients when they consider legislation to replace or revamp much of that law (PL 111-148, PL 111-152). The two influential lobbying groups together released a consultant’s report which estimated that repeal, without any replacement efforts, would have a net negative impact of $165.8 billion from 2018 to 2026. Many patients could lose insurance coverage if the law is changed. (Young, 12/6)

Morning Consult: Hospital Groups Say ACA Repeal Could Cost Them Billions, Diminish Care
Two major hospital groups are raising concerns that repealing the Affordable Care Act could cause hospitals to lose billions of dollars if Congress doesn’t reverse cuts to hospital payments that were meant to finance the 2010 law. The American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals on Tuesday released two reports they hope will persuade the incoming Trump administration and congressional Republicans to reverse cuts to hospital payments. (McIntire, 12/6)

8. Senate's To-Do List For Day One: Repeal Health Law

The rest of the details are still murky, though, following a meeting between Vice President-elect Mike Pence and Republican leadership. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats have one message: Bring it on. "They don’t know what to do. They’re like the dog that caught the bus," Sen. Chuck Schumer says.

The New York Times: Senate Republican Leaders Vow To Begin Repeal Of Health Law Next Month
Senate Republican leaders, after meeting with Vice President-elect Mike Pence, said on Tuesday that they would move immediately next month to start repealing the Affordable Care Act, despite qualms among some of their members. ... Republicans have not fleshed out a plan to replace the 2010 health care law, President Obama’s signature legislative achievement. But on Tuesday they laid out their principles for a replacement plan and said they would try to minimize disruption for the 20 million people who have gained coverage under the law. (Pear, 12/6)

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