In the Health Reform Update for the past week, a lower federal court says the Obama Administration lacks Congressional authority to fund the cost-sharing subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but allows the subsidies to continue until an appeal is heard. Two Republican lawmakers unveil the first ACA replacement bill, which does not repeal the ACA but substitutes a $2,500 tax credit in place of key provisions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announce that the nation’s uninsured rate hit a record low in 2015. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will let the11 remaining non-profit health insurance cooperatives created with ACA loans access funding from private investors in an effort to help them survive. An Administration proposal to test new payment methods for Medicare Part B drugs (including those infused or injected) draws opposition from more than 1,200 stakeholders.
Major health insurers announce plans to remain in ACA Marketplaces despite the exodus of UnitedHealthcare and Humana in 2017, even though a new study shows Marketplace losses nearly doubled last year. Proposed premium hikes for Marketplace plans in California and New York are coming in higher than for 2016. Medicaid expansion efforts gain new momentum in the hold-out states of Georgia and Oklahoma.