GAO Tells Administration To Do More To Manage Health Law Sign-Ups, But Also Praises Some Of Its Efforts
The report from the Government Accountability Office will likely be used by Democrats in the upcoming midterms to support their message that the Trump administration is undermining the health law. But the GAO also credited the government's efforts to reduce call center wait times and stabilize the ACA website. Meanwhile, HHS approves Maryland's request to created a reinsurance program in an effort to curb high premiums.
The Associated Press:
Report: Trump Administration Needs To Step Up On 'Obamacare'
A congressional watchdog said the Trump administration needs to step up its management of sign-up seasons for former President Barack Obama's health care law after mixed results last year in the throes of a failed GOP effort to repeal it. The report due out Thursday from the Government Accountability Office is likely to add to Democrats' election-year narrative that the administration actively undermined "Obamacare" without regard for the consequences to consumers. (8/23)
The Associated Press:
Maryland Officials Announce Health Reinsurance Approval
Maryland officials on Wednesday announced federal approval of a waiver to create the nation’s largest health reinsurance program, a step designed to protect insurers from skyrocketing claims and hold down rates in the struggling individual market of the state’s health care exchange. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved the waiver, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and leading Democrats of the General Assembly announced at a news conference. (Witte, 8/22)
Trump Officials Approve Maryland Proposal To Shore Up ObamaCare Markets
Maryland officials said the approval of the program will prevent increases of up to 30 percent in the state's individual insurance market. “With our innovative new reinsurance program, the health insurance market in Maryland will finally have the chance to be competitive and dynamic,” Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said Wednesday in a statement. (Hellmann, 8/22)
And in Tennessee —
Tennessee Obamacare Likely To Have More Options, Cheaper Rates
Tennesseans on who depend on federally assisted health insurance are likely to have more options and face cheaper prices next year, a reversal of a trend that has plagued the state since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, known widely as Obamacare, four years ago. The most dramatic gains will be felt in the city of Memphis, which may have three new options for Obamacare health insurance. (Kelman, 8/22)
Obamacare Lawsuit Looms Large Over Kavanaugh Hearings
Democrats want to cast Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings as a referendum on Obamacare, and they’re getting inadvertent help from a Texas judge weighing a new legal threat to the health care law. Thanks to fortuitous timing, Kavanaugh will face a Capitol Hill grilling after Labor Day — the same week a federal judge in Texas holds oral arguments in a 20-state lawsuit seeking to wipe out the law. (Cancryn, 8/22)