Medicine

Brett Kavanaugh: A Threat to Affordable Health Care for All

Brett Kavanaugh: A Threat to Affordable Health Care for All

Not only is the administration gutting the program, it's making them help people enroll in the plans Trump has concocted that don't comply with the consumer protection standards and other requirements of the law.

In addition to encouraging private insurers to shun less healthy people, it will raise premiums. After three years, two programs expired, with only the risk adjustment program permanent as stipulated by the law. This follows the failure of several attempts by the Republican-controlled Congress past year to repeal and replace it.

One of the great ironies of the Affordable Care Act is that progressives wanted to stick it to the insurers and instead have enriched them with new business.

Earlier this week, the administration said it would half funding to a "risk adustment" program that reimburse health insurers that covered individual with more expensive medical conditions. "It enables the country to move away from a market where plans compete to avoid covering or charge more to people with preexisting health conditions, to one where competition is based on quality, affordable care for everyone".

All of this increases the risk payers take by participating in a federally sponsored program, and it makes it more hard for payers and providers to reach deals with which all parties are comfortable, he adds.

Kavanaugh would not only be a critical vote on Texas, but also on dozens of health care cases pending in the lower courts which are likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court in upcoming terms.

The new reduction of help for navigators, announced late Tuesday afternoon by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, fits within a pattern of moves by the administration to weaken the sweeping health-care law that President Trump has vowed to demolish.

Centene and Wellmark didn't respond to requests for comment on the risk adjustment suspension.

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CareSource, which will offer insurance in 79 of Indiana's 92 counties in 2019, would have gone from being a net receiver of money from the pool to paying about $16 million a year to other insurers - that is, until the freeze went into effect.

Insurance companies are setting their rates now for the ACA's November enrollment period, so the loss of risk adjustment payments is sure to drive up premiums regardless of whether the payments are resumed at some future point. The Maryland Insurance Administration has a hearing scheduled for July 31. "We understand the impact to the market [but] we have to follow what the courts say", Verma said.

In past years, CMS announced funding opportunities in April and required navigator groups to apply for grants by mid-June.

Some co-ops have sued on grounds that the funding formula is unfair to small insurers.

A former CMC head during the Obama government, Andy Slavitt, indicated on Twitter that because in the long-run there will be the eventual payment of the finances, no insurers need to pull-out from the markets or act out of context or feat at the moment.

Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer Jr. said that as of now he doesn't expect the latest decision to interrupt the state's rate-setting process.

She noted the Trump administration views state flexibility as important, and is committed to granting as much of it as possible. Her insurer, Oscar, is boosting rates again for 2019, and Williams is slated to see an increase to $518.33 for a low-level bronze plan.