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The Affordable Care Act’s taxes on health insurance, high-cost health plans and medical devices would be delayed under a series of bills introduced by House Republicans, with the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) quickly coming out in support of suspending the device tax.

Two Senate Democrats have asked CMS and HHS to make a last-minute extension of the open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s insurance exchanges, arguing the Dec. 15 deadline will leave too many interested customers either without health coverage or automatically enrolled into plans which “may no longer be the best choice for their families.”

The repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate has been projected to cause insurance premiums to rise by an average of 10 percent through 2027. Those hikes would be mitigated, however, if Congress funded the ACA’s cost-sharing reduction subsidies and a $10 billion, two-year reinsurance program, according to an analysis from Avalere.

The American Hospital Association (AHA) suggested the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) pump the brakes on advocating for major changes to Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), saying any major shifts wouldn’t have “the benefit of data or experience” considering this is the program’s first performance year.

The largest health insurers—UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, Anthem, Cigna and Humana—are getting nearly 60 percent of their total combined revenue from Medicare and Medicaid plans, according to a Health Affairs study, with that money more than doubling since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed.

 

Recent Headlines

Industry groups support ACA fix as Trump sends mixed signals

The deal to fund the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s halted cost-sharing reduction subsidies while expanding the state waiver process has the support of several major healthcare groups along with 10 governors and 24 senators. President Donald Trump, however, hasn’t been clear on whether he’ll support the bill as-is.

5 quotes from Alex Azar, frontrunner to be Trump’s next HHS secretary

President Donald Trump is considering nominating Alex Azar, a former executive for pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, as the next secretary of HHS, which could place the agency in the hands of man who has been skeptical of value-based care and opposed drug price controls.

Senators say they’ve reached deal on ACA insurer subsidies

Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, and Patty Murray, D-Washington, have told reporters they’ve reached an agreement to fund the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s cost-sharing reduction subsidies to insurers which had been halted by President Donald Trump.

Industry groups blast Trump’s executive order on insurance regulations

Groups representing physicians, hospitals and patients came out largely in opposition to President Donald Trump’s executive order to encourage the use of insurance plans which don’t comply with Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations on benefits and covering people with pre-existing conditions.

Trump to cut off ACA insurer subsidies ‘immediately’

Cost-sharing reduction subsidies, or CSRs, paid to insurers in exchange for keeping out-of-pocket costs low for lower-income Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange enrollees will end, HHS announced Thursday night, with the agency saying it couldn’t legally continue making the payments.

Trump signs executive order removing ACA regulations on small businesses

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on the morning of Oct. 12 to ease rules on small businesses buying health insurance. With Congress failing to act on Republican promises to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Trump will make the unilateral move to reconfigure federal regulations.

Q&A with MGMA’s Anders Gilberg: Lasting healthcare reform ‘needs to start in the middle’

To call the last few months a busy time for healthcare lobbyists in Washington, D.C. would be quite an understatement. Rather than dwell on the failed attempts at repealing the Affordable Care Act, the Medical Group Management Association’s (MGMA) senior vice president of government affairs, Anders Gilberg, will look ahead to more immediate regulatory concerns and longer-term hopes for “lasting reform.”

AHIMA17: Former congressional leaders think ACA fixes, not repeal, now more likely

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, were brought to the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) conference in Los Angeles to have a political-style debate on healthcare policy, but ended up agreeing on where short-term efforts may go now that repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) failed to pass.

FDA seeks speedier approval of generics

Food and Drug Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said the agency will tackle rising prescription drug costs by encouraging development of generic versions of complex drugs and drug-device combinations.

HHS Secretary to pay back $52K of $1M in total travel costs

HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD, has announced he’ll reimburse the federal government for using private charter flights after POLITICO investigations have found he racked up $1 million in publicly-funded travel costs. However, he’ll only pay back the cost of his seat on domestic charter flights, amounting to $52,000.

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