In This Edition:
From Kaiser Health News:
After intense negotiations among party factions, Republican leaders unveil legislation that committees will mark up this week. (Mary Agnes Carey and Phil Galewitz, 3/6)
Although Republicans flirted with the idea of changing the tax code so that the value of employer-sponsored health insurance is added to workers’ tax liability, House leaders decided to instead keep the ACA’s tax on insurers and employers that provide generous coverage. (Michelle Andrews, 3/7)
Amid an uproar over high drug prices, three GOP senators are asking the Government Accountability Office to investigate whether the Orphan Drug Act is being abused. (Sarah Jane Tribble and Sydney Lupkin, 3/7)
Rand Corp. finds that telehealth encourages patients to seek care for minor illnesses they wouldn’t bother to make an office visit for, raising overall health costs. (Ana B. Ibarra, 3/7)
Researchers believe Californians, many of whom lost health coverage, delayed doctor visits that could have led to earlier detection. Now, with people seeking medical care under the Affordable Care Act, some experts expect to see an increase in late-stage cancers. (Jocelyn Wiener, 3/7)
Kaiser Health News provides a fresh take on health policy developments with "Political Cartoon: 'Around The Block?'" by Lisa Benson.
Here's today's health policy haiku:
WHERE IN THE BIBLE ...
The poor always here,
among us, not intended
as a commandment.
If you have a health policy haiku to share, please Contact Us and let us know if you want us to include your name. Keep in mind that we give extra points if you link back to a KHN original story.
Summaries Of The News:
House Republicans release their long-awaited plan, named the American Health Care Act, which protects some of the Affordable Care Act's more popular provisions.
The Washington Post: House Republicans Release Long-Awaited Plan To Replace Obamacare
House Republicans on Monday released long-anticipated legislation to supplant the Affordable Care Act with a more conservative vision for the nation’s health-care system, replacing federal insurance subsidies with a new form of individual tax credits and grants to help states shape their own policies. (Goldstein, DeBonis and Snell, 3/6)
McClatchy: Republicans Offer Their Bill To Repeal Obamacare
The bill would replace Obamacare’s income-based subsidies with tax credits based more heavily on age, wipe out the individual mandate, cut federal funding for local public health programs, bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal money and phase out enhanced funding for newly-eligible Medicaid recipients. (Pugh and Daugherty, 3/6)
The New York Times: House Republicans Unveil Plan To Replace Health Law
The House Republican bill would roll back the expansion of Medicaid that has provided coverage to more than 10 million people in 31 states, reducing federal payments for many new beneficiaries. It also would effectively scrap the unpopular requirement that people have insurance and eliminate tax penalties for those who go without. The requirement for larger employers to offer coverage to their full-time employees would also be eliminated. People who let their insurance coverage lapse, however, would face a significant penalty. (Pear and Kaplan, 3/6)
Politico: Obamacare Repeal Bill Offers Tax Credits, Big Medicaid Changes
The House plan calls for age-based tax credits ranging from $2,000 to $4,000, replacing the Affordable Care Act's income-based subsidies. Credits for a single household would be limited at $14,000. Subsidies would be phased out for individuals earning $75,000 and at $150,000 for families. (Demko, 3/6)
The Wall Street Journal: Some Key Changes Under Proposed Obamacare Overhaul
Insurers would be allowed to charge their oldest customers more than they do now. Under current law, they can charge older people three times the amount they charge their youngest customers. That would rise to five times the amount they charge young people. (Hackman, 3/6)
Bloomberg: Republicans Unveil Health Care Bill To Bridge Gaps In Party
Gives states a $100 billion fund over a decade to help lower-income people afford insurance, and to help stabilize state insurance markets. The fund could be used to help lower patients’ out of pocket costs or to promote access to preventive services. (Tracer, Edney and Dennis, 3/6)
USA Today: House Republicans Unveil Obamacare Replacement Bill
[The bill] would still allow adult children to stay on their parents' plans until age 26. And the bill would not repeal the popular provision barring insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing health problems. Instead, to keep people from buying coverage only when they need it, insurers could raise premiums 30% for those jumping back into the market. (Groppe, 3/6)
Reuters: U.S. Republicans Unveil Plan To Dismantle Obamacare, Critics Pounce
"Today marks an important step toward restoring healthcare choices and affordability back to the American people," the White House said in a statement, adding Trump looked forward to working with Congress on replacing Obamacare. (Cornwell and Abutaleb, 3/6)
The Associated Press: House GOP Releases Bill Replacing Obama Health Care Overhaul
House committees planned to begin voting on the 123-page legislation Wednesday, launching what could be the year’s defining battle in Congress. GOP success is by no means a slam dunk. In perhaps their riskiest political gamble, the plan is expected to cover fewer than the 20 million people insured under Obama’s overhaul, including many residents of states carried by President Donald Trump in November’s election. (Fram and Alonso-Zaldivar, 3/6)
Texas Tribune: Rep. Doggett: Obamacare Repeal Bill Goes To U.S. House Committees Wednesday
The GOP bill that would potentially repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will be taken up by two U.S. House committees on Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett said Monday. ... Republicans released new legislation Monday evening that effectively repeals Obamacare and introduces a health care payment system based on monthly tax credits. The credit amounts depend on a person’s age, with individuals over the age of 60 receiving $4,000 a year, the maximum amount. Under the new bill, federal funds will used to expand Medicaid will be suspended by 2020 and people will no longer have to be on an insurance plan. (Alfaro, 3/6)
Politico: GOP Unveils Obamacare Replacement Amid Sharp Party Divide
House GOP leaders have also yet to release the official budget score that details the cost of the plan and how many people could lose insurance, a huge issue for moderates who fear blowback in their swing districts. “We are concerned that any poorly implemented or poorly timed change in the current funding structure in Medicaid could result in a reduction in access to life-saving health care services,” wrote the four Republican senators to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Signatories included Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska—Republicans from states that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare. (Bade, Demko and Haberkorn, 3/6)
Politico Pro: Who Wins And Loses Under The American Health Care Act?
The bill released by House Republicans on Monday night doesn’t have an official CBO score or coverage estimates yet, so it’s hard to measure its full impact on Americans needing coverage, or health plans and providers. But there are several groups that stand to clearly gain — or lose — under the plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. (Diamond, 3/6)
The Hill: GOP Hits The Gas On ObamaCare Repeal
Sources said previous versions of the plan faced unfavorable coverage numbers from the CBO. (Sullivan, 3/6)
Modern Healthcare: The Battle Begins As House Republicans Release ACA Repeal Bill
To pass the bill through the reconciliation process and avoid a Senate Democratic filibuster, Republicans will have to convince the Senate parliamentarian that all the provisions of the bill are germane to the budget. And the bill can't be deemed to increase the federal deficit 10 years or more from now. Some of the bill's insurance market changes may have a tough time surviving those procedural tests. (Meyer, 3/6)
CQ Roll Call: GOP Releases Legislative Text For Obamacare Overhaul
Monday's release is the first time a replacement plan with backing from House leaders has been prepared for a floor vote and put into legislative text, rather than merely a broad blueprint, in the seven years that Republicans have called for a repeal of President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement. (Williams and Mershon, 3/6)