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Ohio Requests Individual ACA Mandate

Ohio is the first state to seek a waiver for the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. Ohio officials asked the Administration on Friday to formally waive the ACA individual mandate that requires residents to have health insurance, making it the first state to make such a waiver request. Ohio's Legislature called for the 1332 waiver last summer, and Congress zeroed out the financial penalty for not having coverage in its tax bill in December. This (tax) legislation zeroed out the penal...
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One State Steps Up to Move Health Care Forward

Iowa’s governor on Monday signed into law legislation that allows insurers to sell cheaper plans that don’t comply with certain ACA regulations. Gov. Kim Reynolds said the state’s market is collapsing because of the high ACA costs, with many citizens choosing to go without insurance because the law is pricing them out of the market. Reynolds has urged Congress to fix this problem, but … the governor is making a decision to begin a resolution.  The bill allows thousands of Iowan...
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ACA Signups Dip

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator announced Tuesday that 11.8 million people signed up for 2018 plans on the Affordable Care Act marketplace. The total is roughly 400,000 fewer than last year, a much smaller number than predicted before the enrollment period began in November. Enrollment Data Includes: Of all signups, 27 percent were new enrollees. The average premium for those signing up on the federal exchange before tax subsidies were applied was $621 compared to $4...
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Health Care Tops Americans' Worries for Third Year

Health care is the issue Americans worry about the most, topping the economy as the public's primary concern for the third year in a row. More than half of adults – 55 percent – in a new National Gallup Survey say they worry "a great deal" about the availability and affordability of health care, while nearly a quarter say they say they worry a fair amount. Significant health care concern has registered above a majority each year since Gallup began asking the question in 2001 – the only such issu...
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Can Healthcare Be Fixed?

Even though the U.S. economy appears to be doing well, Americans are concerned about what Congress will be doing in the next six months about the ACA. The Current State The ACA has single handedly tripled the overall cost of health care since it was signed into law. Insurance premiums and deductibles have skyrocketed. Even though the number of insured individuals is higher, the total percentage of insured cost is down by about half since 2010. Insurance failures are rampant, and very few insurer...
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Will Small Biz ACA Problems Be Saved by Association Health Plans?

Out of 75 Major Concerns, Small Business Owners Rank Health Insurance Costs as the Number One Problem They Face Between 2008 and 2015, the proportion of employers with fewer than 10 employees providing health insurance dropped by over one-third while the proportion of employers with 10 to 24 employees dropped by a quarter. Why have small business been hit so hard? Because they lack the economies of scale enjoyed by big firms that can negotiate lower prices from insurers. Also, they do no have en...
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Medicaid Program Tilting Out of Control From ACA Influence

At least 21,000 Americans have died waiting to enroll in Medicaid, thanks in part to the expansion of the ACA government healthcare program, based on research reported by the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA). See “ The Medicaid Waiting List Crisis ” report The report focuses primarily on the waiting lists generated by the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver program. That program, created in 1981, allows states to extend Medicaid services to individuals in th...
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Where The ACA Is Likely Headed

The tax-reform provision repealing the penalty on those who refuse to participate in ACA has freed millions of Americans to escape a system that exploits them. But while Americans can escape ACA, they still can’t buy insurance in the individual market independent of ACA because private insurers are prohibited from selling it. If this prohibition can be removed through the granting of state waivers by the Department of Health and Human Services, or by the passage of a new federal statute, A...
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Update: Life Support for the ACA

This week (3-20-18) the ACA bill is again up for spending review and is also in a tussle with health insurers. The administration may pad the omnibus spending bill with enough cash to preserve the law through the 2020 election but there are no assurances of a fix anytime soon. Congress is debating how to handle cost-sharing reductions (payments to insurers for defraying out-of-pocket costs or deductibles for low-income individuals). These payments were stopped last year; now Washington is seekin...
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Healthcare Dilemma

Some in Washington feel that today we are closer than ever of sending ACA to the ash heap of history and opening the door for much-needed market-based solutions to health insurance. With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Republicans banded together to eliminate the unpopular ACA program individual mandate. Now the administration is determined to find a better way to address our nation’s health-care needs. But despite these positive developments, both parties in Washington are considering policies...
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