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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

Q&A: Why repeal-and-replace of the ACA isn’t dead

Years of efforts by Republicans to repeal and/or repeal the Affordable Care (ACA) culminated in a dramatic early-morning defeat as three GOP senators voted against the rest of their party. Which leaves the healthcare industry wondering: What now?

ACA repeal bill fails in dramatic vote; healthcare groups now seek ‘bipartisan effort’

The decisive vote to repeal and/or replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ended in an early-morning defeat for Republican opponents of the law, as three GOP senators—Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and John McCain of Arizona—voted no on the so-called “skinny repeal” plan.

CBO: ‘Skinny’ repeal of ACA would increase uninsured by 16M

The Senate’s ongoing debate of plans to repeal and/or replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has resulted in two separate Republicans plans being voted down. One hope for the party is to pass a so-called “skinny repeal” which eliminates the individual and employer mandates along with a medical device tax, but that approach would have an immediate impact on insurance coverage and premiums.

ACA ‘repeal-and-delay’ bill fails in Senate as industry worries about ‘skinny repeal’

As part of the Senate’s flurry of action on proposals to repeal and/or replace the Affordable Care Act, Republicans brought up the same bill to get rid much of the law, without a replacement ready, which had passed through Congress in 2015. This time, it failed, with seven Republicans and all Democrats voting against it.

Senate opens debate on ACA repeal; BCRA fails to pass

Republicans in the U.S. Senate voted to open debate on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with 50 senators voting in favor of what’s called a motion to proceed, or MTP, opening the door to the chamber offering numerous amendments to craft some sort of repeal bill. The first option put forward—the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA)—failed to pass as expected.

CBO scores 2 Republican healthcare bills

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released reports on two Republican proposals regarding the Affordable Care Act: One which would repeal much of the law while delaying some of those effects for two years and another which replaces it with the Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).

HHS: Allowing non-ACA compliant insurance lowers premiums, assumes $12k deductibles

Enrollment in the individual market would increase while premiums would decrease under Sen. Ted Cruz’s, R-Texas, controversial “Consumer Freedom” amendment, according to an HHS analysis obtained by the Washington Examiner.

Senate Republicans’ healthcare plans collapse

Senate Republicans' latest Affordable Care Act replacement plan was introduced on July 13. Four days later, it was declared dead, as four Republican senators had publicly announced they wouldn’t support even holding a vote on the legislation.

Durbin: Some Republicans waiting on ACA repeal to fail to start bipartisan talks

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, believes opponents of the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) can use a delay in considering the bill to convince undecided Republicans to block it, particularly now that health insurers have come out strongly against the legislation.

Hospitals remain opposed to Senate healthcare bill; AMA sees slight improvement

Whenever Republicans in the House or Senate have released a new version of an Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement plan in 2017, healthcare industry reaction has been almost uniformly negative. The same can largely be said for the newest version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), with the notable exception of the American Medical Association (AMA) when it comes to two provisions. 

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