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Policy Update-Week of Nov 3

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In the Health Reform Update for the past week, the U.S. Supreme Court shocks observers by agreeing to hear a challenge to Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies offered to more than 4.5 million consumers in federally-facilitated Marketplaces (FFM) before appellate challenges were resolved.

Republican leaders promptly schedule repeal votes on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) after sweeping nearly all contested Senate races to gain control over both Congressional chambers. Broad Republican gains in state elections have limited Democrats to unified control of only seven state legislatures, the lowest level in more than a century, as well as just 19 governorships.

The private sector Medicaid expansion alternative in Arkansas appears to be in serious jeopardy as Republicans secure enough votes to terminate the program next spring and eliminate coverage for 205,000 newly-eligible enrollees. The new Republican governor in Illinois hints that he may seek to convert that state’s traditional Medicaid expansion into an Arkansas-style alternative.   

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) insists that it can promptly fix software flaws found in the federal versions of the ACA Marketplace for small businesses that were test launched last month in only five states.

The complete Health Reform Update is available here. If you’re interested in Advocacy you can also join the PSI Patient Coalition.

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