Tag Archives: The Politics of Healthcare Insurance

Senator Murkowski ‘s Tax Vote will come with Murray/Alexander Bill passage ….Update..

And then there was TWO Republicans against a possible Senate Tax bill….

Sen Collins(R-Maine)  has indicated that she is a ‘maybe’?

So Mitch McConnell ALREADY can’t bring any Senate bill up for a vote as things stand….

Sen. Lisa Murkowski suggested on Thursday that her vote on the current version of the tax overhaul is contingent on passing a separate bill to stabilize the individual health insurance market.

The tax legislation now includes a section to repeal the individual mandate — a provision that opens up over $300 billion in revenue — but could also threaten the viability of the overall health law.

The measure has caused some heartburn for moderate members, particularly Murkowski and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, two of the three votes that helped sink the recent GOP bill to repeal the law earlier this year.

Murkowski believes legislation from Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexanderof Tennessee and Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the panel’s top Democrat, is necessary before the mandate — which supporters of the law say is a critical foundation for the current insurance markets — is repealed.

“I think that there is a path and I think the path is a reasonable path,” the Alaska Republican said of her support for the measure. “If the Congress is going to move forward with repeal of the individual mandate, we absolutely must have the Alexander-Murray piece that is passed into law.”

Without such a measure — which would, among other things, appropriate money for the so-called cost-sharing subsidies — Murkowski says middle-class Americans may not receive the kind of tax relief the GOP is aiming to provide…..

More…

Update…

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said Friday that passing a bipartisan ObamaCare bill is not necessarily a precondition for her to support a tax bill that repeals ObamaCare’s individual mandate….

More….

 

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The Affordable Healthcare law performed fine this year…Next year…Well?

A new study out debunks all of the doom and gloom on how the Affordable Healthcare (Obamacare ) program is ACTUALLY doing this year….

It reports that insurance companies held the line and made marginal profits by increasing premunim’s for policyn holder and that those policy holders should have made out alright by getting the tax credits available….

Huh?

Yes…

The study Taking Stock of Insurer Financial Performance in the Individual Health Insurance Market Through 2017,” points to the program ACTUALLY working the way it is SUPPOSED to despite the media , Republican and Donald Trump cries against it….

The report points out that despite reports in the media?

Image result for obamacare

Most Americans would have been able to balance increases in their 2018 premiums with tax credits….

In fact, in a little noticed regard….

If Trump and Congress do NOT resume subsidies to healthcare insurance providers? (They will)….ANOTHER type of subsidy will kick -in for some …..

The reality is that the Affordable Healthcare program isn’t gonna be repealed and will survive….

The program is doing better than the what is being sold to the public on a politiocal plate…..

Republican efforts seem to be aimed at hurting the weakest part of the program…

Healthcare benefits for low population Red states…

But then ?

That is how things have just about always been , eh?

The report finds that insurers were on track to break even or make modest profits on ACA-compliant individual market policies in 2017, on average, before the Trump Administration’s decision to end cost-sharing reduction payments. The sharp improvement for 2017 were the result of the significant premium increases insurers implemented for 2017, together with continued subdued claims growth in the ACA-compliant individual market. That progress should have set the stage for comparatively moderate premium increases in 2018, likely in the mid-to-high-single digits. The higher premium increases occurring in reality likely reflect a range of threatened and actual changes in federal policy.

In greater detail, the report reaches two main conclusions about the state of the individual market in 2017 and how the market would have evolved in 2018 in the absence of recent changes in policy:

  • Insurers were on track to break even or make modest profits on ACA-compliant policies in 2017, on average, before the administration ended cost-sharing reduction payments: The report estimates that insurers were on track to incur small losses averaging 0.4 percent of premium revenue on ACA-compliant policies in 2017 before the administration ended cost-sharing reduction payments for the final quarter of the year. Furthermore, there is reason to believe that the data used in this analysis may systematically understate insurers’ actual financial performance, suggesting that insurers were, in fact, on track to make modest profits on ACA-compliant policies in 2017, on average nationwide….

 

  • In a stable policy environment, 2018 premium increases for ACA-compliant policies would have been in the mid-to-high single digits on average nationwide…..

More…

image…latimes.com

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Iowa’s individual insurance market has gone South…It may be a preview for GOP Midterm elections Big Trouble….

While the individual insurance market is alive  and fairly healthy in large mostly Blue states….Rural states ARE having BIG  problems….

Politico takes an extensive look at the problems in Iowa and how rising rates,  insurance companies mistakes, State miscues ,  and bad plans are making its people mad at  Republicans in the current Congress….Not the Democrats whom passed the healthcare program which they joined and now is causing them anguish ….

t was always going to be difficult to build a viable individual insurance market in a predominantly rural state like Iowa. One big reason for that: Insurers have little bargaining power with major health care providers that they need to create viable networks for their customers. California, which has a thriving Obamacare marketplace, has more than four times as many residents per square mile than Iowa.

“It’s hard to build inexpensive networks when the only hospital within 30 miles has you over a barrel,” said Dave Anderson, a health insurance expert at Duke University who has written extensively about the Obamacare markets.

But there were also crucial developments that further undermined Iowa’s marketplace from the outset. The state’s dominant insurer, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which controls about three quarters of the state’s market, decided not to sell plans on the Obamacare marketplace from the outset. There was just one other state nationwide, Mississippi, where the dominant Blue plan opted not to participate.

“They were sitting on the healthy, profitable members in the state. They had no good reason to get on the exchange,” Anderson said. “The risk pool on the exchange was going to be a very sick risk pool.”

State regulators also made a critical decision during the first open-enrollment season in 2013: They decided to allow plans that don’t meet the coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act to remain in place. That became possible after the Obama administration, facing an intense backlash over canceled plans and the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov, gave states the option of grandfathering in noncompliant plans.

Iowa officials were far from alone in allowing plans that don’t meet Obamacare’s coverage requirements to stay on the market, but the implications were far more significant in the state. As of May, more than half of the state’s individual market—roughly 80,000 individuals—remained in noncompliant plans. Nationwide, that figure is closer to 10 percent, according to data crunched by Charles Gaba, who runs a blog that tracks Obamacare enrollment….

Nobody knows exactly what to expect when open enrollment begins on Nov. 1.

That uncertainty is compounded by the continuing disarray in Washington over how to deal with Obamacare. Congressional Republicans have repeatedly failed in their efforts to repeal and replace the law, and the prospects for passing a bipartisan package to stabilize the markets appear grim.

“It’s really truly amazing that we could have this much uncertainty at any given time,” said Doug Cropper, CEO of Genesis Health System, which operates in the Quad Cities region. “It’s just very, very unique in my 36-year career.”

At the same time, the Trump administration has taken steps that have further destabilized the wobbly markets. Earlier this month, the White House announced that it’s cutting off subsidy payments that insurers rely on to reduce out-of-pocket costs for their poorest Obamacare customers. That means insurers are jacking up premiums by an additional 15 percent or more to account for the funding shortfall….

The chaotic situation in Iowa could have political ramifications for 2018 and beyond. Trump has blamed the troubled Obamacare markets on Democrats, but polling data suggest the public will overwhelmingly fault Republicans for future problems. That could spell trouble for candidates on the ballot next year, including Gov. Reynolds and Reps. Rod Blum and David Young, who are top Democratic targets.

“They either have to decide they’re going to go after Trump for roiling the Iowa market or they have to stand by him,”…

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Note….

It IS this dogs feeling that Congress will vote to allocate subsidy money by the years end, which will be after the Insurance companies have to set their rates in a little over a week….

Congress NEVER does well on deadlines and Trump throwing the issue back at Congress , while dancing on what he wants does NOTHING to help things….

Make no mistake….

If the market thing does NOT calm down?

This healthcare thing WILL land in Republican laps…..This isn’t about President Obama and the Democrats…It’;s about people in Washington that want to take away small , rural peoples healthcare insurance and send them back Emergency Rooms for coverage….

Update….

Iowa on Monday withdrew a request to waive some Obamacare rules to help shore up its struggling healthcare insurance market, marking a setback in efforts by Republican-governed states to sidestep requirements of the Obama-era law.

With open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act – better known as Obamacare – set to start in just over a week, the state announced it would no longer wait to hear if federal officials would approve its request aimed at cutting individual healthcare insurance premiums and widening coverage.

The withdrawal prompted a leading U.S. Senate Republican to urge Congress to approve a bipartisan fix to Obamacare, which President Donald Trump has vowed to scrap….

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(Above Bold by me)

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McConnell wants Trump to make up his mind on Alexander/Murray Bipartisan Healthcare Bill….

I just did a piece on how Donald Trump keeps talking about the Senate Cassidy/Graham Healthcare Repeal bill….

Let’s face it?

That Trump talk is is just deal making….

It turns out that Trump’s people are ALSO talking to Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Senate Minority Leader  Schumer about the Alexander/Murray Bill which McConnell and Schumer KNOW  know has the votes to pass in the Senate….

The bill would keep the Affordable Healthcare Bill known as Obamacare intact ….(There is NO chance of a outright Repeal)

McConnel is asking for cover from the White House for his people since the Conservatives in the House are gonna NOT be happy…..( Trump keeps talking about adding things to the finished product to keep his parties conservatives from calling him and complaining …McConnell wants him to ‘man up’ and decide what he’s do)

Don’t forget….

Donald Trump just wants a win on ANYTHING….

He REALLY doesn’t care about the fine print…..

He just wants to read the media and go golfing….

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he is ready to move a bipartisan health-care bill but needs President Trump first to clarify what he will sign.

“What I’m waiting is to hear from President Trump what kind of health-care bill he might sign,” McConnell said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think he hasn’t made a final decision. When he does, and I know that we’re not just debating it, but actually passing something to be signed, I would be happy to bring it up.”

Last week, Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced an agreement to restore federal payments that help offset out-of-pocket health insurance costs for low-income Americans. The deal would give states more flexibility in how they regulate health coverage, a conservative goal.

But the administration signaled to Senate Republican negotiators Friday that it also wants to give individuals and employers retroactive relief from the Affordable Care Act’s insurance mandate, according to individuals briefed on the matter, a request that is sure to anger Democrats….

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If Trump and Congress don’t bring back the healthcare subsidy?…Another one kicks in….

A new wrinkle has been added to the football of healthcare insurance subsidy payments….

It seems that there are fail safes in the law that kick’s in if one type of subsidy is gone….ANOTHER subsidy would become available …This one would make available tax credits that would replace the subsidy money gone….And could be used by even MORE people that us the current system…(The number of uninsured Americans is reported to have risen recently by one poll)

Insurance companies would raise rates , but a good amount of people who idamize their taxes could claim the higher payments and rcoup some of the increased money they paid to insurers from the government…This would surely cost the government MORE than just paying the insurance comoanies direct since it requires more papaerwork and handling….

This would NOT help those low-income people who need the current subsidy availablity up front….(But they have states lining up to sue the Trump Admin to free the subsidy money….The US Senate has the votes to pay the subsidies for 2 years, but the House is another thing)

If President Donald Trump prevails in shutting down a major “Obamacare” health insurance subsidy, it would have the unintended consequence of making free basic coverage available to more people, and making upper-tier plans more affordable.

The unexpected assessment comes from consultants, policy experts, and state officials, who are trying to discern the potential fallout from a Washington health care debate that’s becoming even more complicated and volatile.

What’s driving the predictions? It’s because another subsidy that’s part of the health law would go up for people with low-to-moderate incomes, offsetting Trump’s move.

“It’s a kind of counter-intuitive result,” said Kurt Giesa, a health insurance expert with the Oliver Wyman consulting firm.

Think of pushing down on one end of a see-saw and the other end goes up.

According to one estimate, more consumers would sign up for coverage next year even though Trump says the Affordable Care Act is “virtually dead.”….

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Note….

The chances of the Affordable Healthcare Law (Obamacare) going away in its entirety are remote….

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The Senate has the votes to pass compromise Healthcare fix…The House?

The problem is getting a bill vote….

And getting past Conservatives in the House?

On Thursday afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced that every single Senate Democrat would back a bipartisan bill to restore the subsidy payments to health insurance companies defunded by President Trump. Combined with the 12 GOP senators who officially co-sponsored the bill, that gives the measure a filibuster-proof supermajority if and when it comes to the floor for a vote.

But with a powerful committee chairman and several other lawmakers in staunch opposition, hostility to the bill radiating from the House of Representatives, right-wing advocacy groups mobilizing against it, and a President who appears to hourly change his mind on the policy, there is no guarantee the bill will pass.

The list of Republican co-sponsors of the bill unveiled on Thursday includes half a dozen committee chairs, making it more difficult for Senate leaders to refuse to hold a vote. But Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who chairs the Finance Committee that would take up the bill if it goes through the committee process, is not one of them.

“I’m concerned we’re just perpetuating a bad process,” Hatch told TPM. “They want to do it for another two years. I’d rather face the problem now.”

Hatch is referring to the heart of the bill, which provides two years of funding for cost-sharing reduction subsidies to health insurance companies that go towards lowering the cost of care for low-income patients.

Bill co-author Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) told TPM Thursday that if the bill does go through a regular committee markup, an open question at this point, it would go through Hatch’s Finance Committee. Asked if Hatch would commit to holding a hearing and markup on the bill, a GOP aide called the question “premature.”

“He would have to talk to committee members about it to see how they want to move forward,” the aide said…..

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Trump changes his mind on Senate Healthcare compromise ‘deal’….GOPer’s are stuck….

I posted up the announcement that Senators LamarHunt and Patty Murray had what they thought was a compromise to pay insurance companies for carrying low income people on health insurance, that they MUST cover in turn for allowing states wiggle room in their coverage….

I DID mention that the announcement was met with a thud….

President Trump was happy for about two hours with the ‘deal’ until he heard that his party memebers , particuly House Conservertives began to complain LOUD and CLEAR that they would not go along with something that would let Trump boast he got a deal with Democrats that would SAVE a program they have vilified for the past six year….Of course the ageement would be viewed as a direct reputation of their politics on healthcare…

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t said much about the whole thing so far…

House Speaker Ryan wants healthcare to go away….

But it’s NOT that simple…

By kicking the whole thing to Congress, where it should be?

Trump has put the responsibitly for a possible loss of health insurance for tens of millions in Congress’s lap….And could be providing Democratic talking points to run on in next years Midterm elections …Something conservatives are being short sighted about…

No matter what?

Republicans in Congress WILL end up doing something to save the healthcare bill …..

To have people losing their health insurance due to HUGE premium increases next year for a program that a majority of Americans NOW want to keep, just fix, is a recipe for political disaster ……

A bipartisan Senate deal to curb the growth of health insurance premiums is reeling after President Donald Trump reversed course and opposed the agreement and top congressional Republicans and conservatives gave it a frosty reception.

Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., announced their accord Tuesday after weeks of negotiations and five days after Trump said he was halting federal subsidies to insurers. Under the lawmakers’ agreement, the payments would continue for two years while states were given more leeway to let insurers sidestep some coverage requirements imposed by President Barack Obama’s health care law.

In remarks Tuesday in the Rose Garden, Trump called the deal “a very good solution” that would calm insurance markets, giving him time to pursue his goal of scrapping Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act, the target of Republican derision since it was signed into law.

Although top Democrats and some Republicans praised the Alexander-Murray compromise agreement, Trump backed off after a day of criticism from many in the GOP.

In an evening speech at the conservative Heritage Foundation, he said that “while I commend” the work by the two senators, “I continue to believe Congress must find a solution to the Obamacare mess instead of providing bailouts to insurance companies.”

A White House official said Trump’s statement was aimed at conveying opposition to the Alexander-Murray plan. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

The subsidies — called cost-sharing reductions — go to insurers for reducing out-of-pocket costs for lower-income people. Since Obama’s law requires insurers to make those cost reductions, insurers and others have warned that halting the subsidies would force premiums higher and prompt some carriers to abandon unprofitable markets.

“This agreement avoids chaos,” Alexander said when he announced the deal. “I don’t know a Republican or Democrat who benefits from chaos.”

Alexander said the president had encouraged his efforts in two phone calls in recent days. But Trump has also repeatedly called the subsidies bailouts of insurers, who he’s pointedly said have contributed little to his campaigns…..

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Bipartisan Senate Obamacare agreement lands with a thud for GOPer’s….

The agreement worked out between Republican Senator Lamar Alexander and Democrat Senator Patty Murray seems like a compromise that will keep money flowing to healthcare insurers and let states have some wiggle room on their coverage….

It is NOT a Repeal of the current National Healthcare Program….

It IS a reinforcement of the very law that Republicans tried to hang around the Democrats….

Donald Trump has forced his own Republicans to either take the blame for casting tens of millions of American out of their coverage or YES…Making a compromise with Democrats…(They can’t pass a Repeal we KNOW)

If they approve this?

Republicans KNOW they are eating their OWN ‘crow’….Served up by their party leader……

In advance of the deal’s announcement, many Republican senators were already distancing themselves from the emerging plan.

“I don’t know. I’m not sure what the Senate should do,” said Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) Tuesday morning.

In the House, which passed an ACA repeal bill, there appeared to be even less appetite for a bill that bolsters an element of the law that they have pilloried for seven years without more forcefully rolling back other parts of it.

“This is like we have to fix the Senate’s failure,” said Cole. Using a football analogy, he blamed Senate Republicans for fumbling the ball on the one-yard line.

In the eyes of Cole and other leading Republicans, the party’s congressional majorities were put at risk by the unsuccessful repeal push. With Trump’s former chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon already threatening primary challenges against senators up in 2018, some fear that asking lawmakers to reinforce the bill they tried to undo is simply not a defensible position.

On the other hand, doing nothing is also likely to spur criticism of the Republicans.

As senators announced their agreement, a new analysis emerged Tuesday showing the large stakes for insurers in the short term if the cost-sharing payments are not restored. By the end of 2017, health plans will lose more than $1 billion nationwide, according to the analysis by Avalere Health, a Washington-based consulting firm.

Both state and industry officials welcomed the prospect of a possible deal on the subsidies, but they also warned that it could come too late given that the 45-day open enrollment period for the ACA begins Nov. 1.

The timing — just two weeks before the start of the fifth enrollment season for ACA coverage — could mean havoc back in states, where some insurance regulators already are reeling from Trump’s decision to stop funding CSRs…..

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Is Trump actually gonna push Congress to support Obamacare?

While the media chorus has been anti-Trump on the Affordable Healthcare law know as Obamacare….

There does seem to be a plan afoot to get Congress to work on fixing the countries healthcare program….

It seems that Trump in his own way  IS pushing Republicans and Democrats to get together and work out  a ‘deal’…..

Trump stopping of insurance payments to insurance companies puts the onus on Congress to do so….Trump wants to stop having ok the monthly payments and he’s right…The monthly thing was a dig at Obama , who is gone….

The problem is now where it should be…In Congress….

Republicans cannot do this alone…

So Democratic leaders WILL have to sit down and work out a deal with the Republicans to make the payments a longer term thing that comes from them , Not the White House and yes….Like things are supposed to be?…Democrats are gonna have to let the states  have more flexibility ….

This won’t hurt blue state healthcare users….But it WILL hurt red sate state users, some who surely lose some coverage…. Red state Democrats might be able run on those cuts since the Obamacare program has gained support by more Americans even in Red states….

The last few years actions by Republican against the nations healthcare system have come home….

Here’s the latest….

Congressional Democrats have to decide how badly they want an ObamaCare deal.

Senate Republicans are open to renewing the insurer payments that President Trump canceled last week, but, in return, they want to expand a program that allows states to waive Affordable Care Act regulations.

That asking price could be hard for Democrats to swallow.

While Democrats want to protect ObamaCare, they fear that expanding the waivers would allow states to chip away at the bedrock protections of the law, including the rules on what an insurance plan must cover.

The politics of the health-care debate are also shifting.

While ObamaCare used to be a liability for Democrats, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll in August found that 60 percent of respondents think Republicans are responsible for problems in the Affordable Care Act going forward. Only 28 percent said the responsibility rests with Democrats.

Polls like that make some Republicans nervous about an ObamaCare backlash in the 2018 elections. And Democrats, hopeful of winning back the House and potentially even the Senate next year, are eager to hang ObamaCare’s problems around the GOP’s neck.

“Republicans in the House and Senate now own the health-care system in this country from top to bottom, and their destructive actions, and the actions of the president, are going to fall on their backs,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Friday.

Negotiations over an ObamaCare bill have been going on for weeks, with Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) seeking an agreement to stabilize the markets and protect people’s coverage options.

Democrats say they are pushing for a deal, and Murray said Friday she was “optimistic” that one could be reached…..

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Note….

Anybody rmention Bernie Sanders ‘Single Payer’ rants?

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Trump’s Obamacare action is going to court…State’s announce lawsuit..

Why NOT?

The Republican’s took President Obama to court on the program…..

18 State Attorney General’s have joined together to file against Trump’s excutive actions  concerning the Affordaable Healthcare law….

President Donald Trump’s move to cut off critical Obamacare subsidies will almost surely be tied up in the courts for years as Democratic-led states seek injunctions, while insurers seek to recover payments they say they’re owed.

It’s impossible to predict whether a judge might order the administration to continue the payments while the lawsuits are heard, but at least some legal experts express doubts.

“Forcing an administration to continue making payments when the president believes there is no appropriation, and when Congress believes there’s no appropriation, would be a pretty extreme move by the court — even if it was a temporary measure,” said Nicholas Bagley, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School who has written extensively about Obamacare legal issue

The result is that consumers are likely to be caught holding the bag if their insurers bolt and their Obamacare markets teeter on the verge of collapse. Many will end up paying higher premiums to make up for the shortfall, estimated at $7 billion this year alone. And although most insurers have locked in commitments to participate in the Obamacare markets for 2018, some may re-examine those decisions….

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Trump reaches out to Democrats for Healthcare Help….

He does it again….

First it was for the Dreamers….

Now this….

The man is stuck in a nowhere land since doing this will only anger his adopted party people and embolden the Democrats to explore this out loud…

Image result for schumer/trump

Although it’s not known what Trump proposed or how Schumer responded, word traveled fast among Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill:

  • The initial reaction among some Republicans was consternation, even though they didn’t know the upshot of the call.
  • A well-wired Republican told us: “It codifies the Rs’ failure on repeal/replace and shows the President can move without hesitation or ideological impediment to make a deal with the Dems. It depresses R base turnout in the midterms, as Trump voters are further disconnected from the Congressional wing.”

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Note…

It would be normal for a President to work with both parties to build a consesnsxse for legislation…

But Trump has knocked the Republicans to get the GOP nomination and continued to do so…And he has promised to work against the Demeocrats also…

The man doesn’t REALLY know what he’s doing…And he can’t seem to figure out how to do this ‘Congress’ thing…

image..syracuse.com

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No Repeal….No other action…Healthcare Insurers move to raise rates for individual’s….

Republicans have failed to repeal the law….

And have NOTHING to fix it…..(they could do something later…Congress is NOT good on deadlines)

So in a lot of states?

They are allowing the insurance companies to raise their rates by up to 60%…..

Of course this is a effort to get Congress to continue to subsidize the insurance companies …..But?

In the end?

The Republicans are trying to get what they wanted in the first place…

To make something that people have come to like and depend on?

A failure….(They are sure to place the blame for the increased premiums on Obama, not their none efforts…)

Health insurers are aggressively increasing prices next year for individual policies sold under the federal health care law, with some raising premiums by more than 50 percent.

By approving such steep increases for 2018 in recent weeks, regulators in many states appeared to be coaxing companies to hang in there, despite turmoil in the market and continuing uncertainty in Congress about the future of the law, the Affordable Care Act.

In Georgia, the state insurance commissioner, Ralph T. Hudgens, an outspoken critic of the law, often referred to as Obamacare, said the rates he approved would be up to 57.5 percent higher next year. The state had already lost Anthem, the large insurer that offers for-profit Blue Cross plans in several states, which left many markets in Georgia.

“Obamacare has become even more unaffordable for Georgia’s middle class,” Mr. Hudgens said in a statement. “I am disappointed by reports that the latest Obamacare repeal has stalled once again and urge Congress to take action to end this failed health insurance experiment.”

In Florida, the average rate increase will be about 45 percent, according to state regulators. And in New York, where officials said prices would still be below where they were before the law took effect, premiums were expected to increase by an average of about 14 percent. Many states have not made insurers’ rate increases public, and experts said the rise in costs for consumers could run from 10 percent to nearly 60 percent…..

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Rural Hospitals Are Dying and Pregnant Women Are Paying the Price

…from Politico Magazine….

….As Congress debates repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, rural hospitals are in a kind of purgatory, unsure about their Medicaid budgets and the private health insurance that sustains them. At least 81 rural hospitals have shut down across the country since 2010, according the North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center at UNC. The pace of closures has been increasing since the Great Recession, but the current health care policy limbo—which leaves hospitals and insurers unable to predict their income—exacerbates the problem. “The uncertainty is really impinging providers, particularly hospitals, from making the kinds of decisions that might put them on a better footing,” says center director Mark Holmes…..

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Bipartisanship to sink the Repeal leads to embrace…..

Amen….

Somebody had to stop people from taking away millions of Americans Healthcare Benefits…..THAT is more important than making party hack’s happy….

After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced the latest plan to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law had been pulled from the floor, a Democrat and a Republican embraced.

Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Susan Collins of Maine — one of three Republicans who had formally announced opposition to the latest plan, known as Graham-Cassidy — gave each other a hug in a Capitol elevator on Tuesday and Roll Call’s camera was there….

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Why would Senator Murkowski change her mind and vote for a Healthcare Repeal?

She gets virtually NOTHING in return politically…..

And her state gets less…..

Image result for sen murkowski after repeal vote

There are plenty of reasons to think she won’t support this bill. Murkowski already took a political risk in July when she voted down the last repeal bill. She was hailed as a hero for it by many in Alaska, too, greeted by hugs and flowers when she went back home. She’s also not up for reelection until 2022, and this photo of her hula-hooping soon after that vote seemed to show a liberated senator living her best life and not looking back.

But there’s a simpler reason, too. It’s just math.

Various experts have already explained why Alaska would lose under the Graham-Cassidy bill.

 Avalere Health, a consulting firm, said the bill would yield an 11 percent loss in federal funding in the state, or $1 billion, between 2020 and 2026. Groups like Kaiser and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities show similar numbers. Even the Centers for Medicare for Medicaid Services, which has the rosiest numbers, shows a negative effect on Alaska.

Murkowski’s governor also opposes the bill, and on Friday, Alaska’s health department unveiled a new report projecting that Graham-Cassidy would mean a 65 percent cut in federal funding for the state by 2026.

Those are terrible numbers, and they’ve left bill supporters desperate to figure out a way to win over Murkowski. One idea that’s been floated is to create a carve-out for the state. In that scenario, the bill would be amended to let Alaska keep Obamacare while it’s repealed for nearly every other state.

Murkowski hasn’t said if she’d bite on something like that. But a longtime Republican operative familiar with the dynamics at play in Alaska said the senator is better off not taking any deal on this bill ― and she likely knows it….

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image of Murkowski being greeted after voting against the first Republican repeal bill in the US Senate…Shareblue

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