Republicans Will Use Reconciliation Bill To Try To Repeal Health Law Taxes, Insurance Mandate
The procedural tool fast tracks the measure, avoiding a potential Senate filibuster. President Barack Obama would all-but-certainly veto the legislation. In other Obamacare news, Minnesota reveals 2016 premiums, a Louisiana co-op gets no relief from a federal program aimed at helping it survive and more health systems are jumping in to the insurance business.
GOP Targets Obamacare Taxes In Fast-Track Process
Republicans will seek to repeal a range of ObamaCare taxes as well as the healthcare law’s mandates to buy insurance through the fast-track process known as reconciliation. President Obama is sure to veto the measures, but reconciliation will allow them to at least reach his desk, bypassing an expected Senate Democratic filibuster. (Sullivan, 9/28)
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
Health Insurance Premiums To Rise For Thousands In Minnesota, But How High?
Thousands of Minnesotans who buy health insurance on their own are bracing for final word on whether their premiums will spike next year. On Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Commerce is scheduled to release 2016 rates for shoppers who buy individual policies. (Snowbeck, 9/28)
The (Baton Rouge, La.) Advocate:
Program Designed To Help Louisiana With New Health Cooperatives Fails
A federal program designed to aid federally created health plans such as the Louisiana Health Cooperative Inc. instead became the final nail in the ailing nonprofit’s coffin. Louisiana Health — taken over by state regulators on Sept. 1 — was one of 23 plans created nationally under the Affordable Care Act to ensure there would be competition among health insurers. Altogether the co-ops received more than $2.4 billion in low-interest federal loans to get started. ... the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, also included programs designed to stabilize the health insurance market. One of them, risk adjustment, takes money from insurers with a healthier mix of customers and spreads it among companies who take on sicker policyholders. ... The co-op thought it would receive $2.8 million under the risk adjustment program, but health insurers didn’t know exactly how the provision would affect them until June 30. That’s when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a report that contained an unpleasant surprise for the Louisiana co-op: Instead of getting $2.8 million, the co-op would have to pay $7.5 million to the federal government. (Griggs, 9/26)
Expect More Health Systems To Get In The Insurance Game
Health insurance is a competitive and volatile business, as some health systems that have entered the market have painfully discovered. But they're making the leap because the payoff is often a bump in revenue at a time of slow growth for hospitals. (Evans, 9/28)