President Trump Signs Executive Order Weakening the Affordable Care Act

President Trump Signs Executive Order Weakening the Affordable Care Act

President Trump signed an executive order Thursday morning that seeks to weaken aspects of the Affordable Care Act, a move critics say could drive up costs for people with serious health needs.
The executive order asks for federal agencies to expand small businesses’ ability to band together and form associations to negotiate and buy cheaper, less-regulated health insurance.
It also seeks to expand short-term limited duration insurance, which provide a limited amount of benefits and aren’t subject to ACA mandates and rules for those with pre-existing conditions.
Under the ACA, these plans are limited to three months, intended for people between jobs or moving off their parents’ health plans.
The executive order seeks to extend these plans to a year.
Proponents of the order claim the changes will create more competition among insurance companies and create more insurance options at lower prices.
Critics say Trump’s changes will allow healthy individuals to leave the ACA marketplace to buy cheaper insurance elsewhere, leading to increased healthcare costs for those with serious health needs who are on ACA-regulated plans.
“It would essentially create a parallel regulatory structure within the individual and small group markets that is freed from the various consumer protections established,” Spencer Perlman, a policy analyst with Veda Partners, told Bloomberg.
“I’ve been hearing about the disaster of Obamacare for so long, in my case many years.
Most of it outside in civilian life, and for a long period of time since I started running and since I became president of the United States I just keep hearing repeal replace, repeal replace,” the president said at the executive order signing at the White House.

How Curtailing Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion Would Hurt Cancer Patients

How Curtailing Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion Would Hurt Cancer Patients

When Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine declared earlier this week she wouldn’t support the latest effort to repeal Obamacare — killing her party’s latest attempt to deep-six the health care law — she cited Medicaid cuts as one of her concerns about the proposed bill, known as Graham-Cassidy. But as Congress moves forward to try to shore up the law, or if it attempts another repeal in the future, Medicaid expansion could very well end up in the cross hairs again. And that concerns some prominent members of the cancer community.
In states that expanded Medicaid, the uninsured rate was cut in half, to 2.1%. The researchers performed their analysis by scrutinizing 197,290 records from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results database (SEER).
The Duke study also uncovered significant disparities in cancer care for minorities and low-income patients — problems that clearly improved with Medicaid expansion. In fact, the slight decrease in the uninsured rate that was seen in non-expansion states primarily benefited white patients who did not live in areas beset by poverty.
And it’s not just Medicaid that they’re worried about.
“Many of the 10 Essential Benefits mandated under the ACA are vital for preventing and detecting cancers at earlier stages, when they are more treatable at a lower cost,” said the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in a blog post earlier this week.

GOP Sweetens Healthcare Bill For Conservatives By Dropping Birth Control Coverage Rule

GOP Sweetens Healthcare Bill For Conservatives By Dropping Birth Control Coverage Rule

. WASHINGTON― The latest version of Senate Republicans’ health care legislation would allow states to decide whether employers and insurance companies have to cover birth control, effectively reversing the Obama-era rule that guaranteed 55 million women contraceptive coverage at no out-of-pocket cost.
Women’s health advocates are calling the latest iteration of the bill the worst in a generation.
In addition to rolling back the birth control coverage mandate, the Republican bill would block Medicaid patients from seeking health care at Planned Parenthood, ban abortion coverage in the individual insurance market and allow states to opt out of covering women’s health services that were considered essential benefits under Obamacare ― like maternity care and breast-feeding services.
In effect, millions of women would have to pay significantly more for basic preventative and sexual health care services.
After lawsuits challenged those provisions, the Obama administration carved out exemptions for churches and non-profit religious organizations.
According to a new CBS poll, only 20 percent of Americans and 46 percent of Republicans supported the Graham-Cassidy bill as it stood before Monday.
They can only afford to lose two votes. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) have also said they are hesitant to support the legislation because it cuts Medicaid and defunds Planned Parenthood.

John McCain Says ‘No’ to Graham-Cassidy Bill, Likely Killing It

John McCain Says ‘No’ to Graham-Cassidy Bill, Likely Killing It

. On Friday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) announced he cannot “in good conscience” vote for the Graham-Cassidy bill, the GOP’s latest Obamacare repeal effort.
With McCain out, the bill stands little chance of passing. Only three Republicans need to vote “no” on the bill for it to fail.
“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal. Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will [a]ffect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it,” McCain said in a statement.
Far from it,” McCain added. “The bill’s authors are my dear friends, and I think the world of them. I know they are acting consistently with their beliefs and sense of what is best for the country.

The Graham-Cassidy Bill: What You Should Know

The Graham-Cassidy Bill: What You Should Know

. The bill, which is sponsored by Senators Lindsay Graham (SC) and Bill Cassidy (LA), would gut Medicaid, as well as the tax credits that help people buy health insurance and the health-insurance protections that the ACA gives consumers.
At least three Republican senators must oppose the bill to ensure that it does not become law. Senators are expected to vote on the bill by September 30.
Medicaid may cover Medicare premiums and copays, and the cost of nursing home care.
It would block grant some federal Affordable Care Act funds to the states beginning in 2020 through 2026.
It projects federal spending cuts on Medicaid alone of $243 billion between 2020 and 2026.
States that have passed Medicaid expansion and/0r that have more residents receiving insurance premium assistance would see the largest federal funding cuts.
BecauseGraham-Cassidy sets a federal per-person spending cap for mostl Medicaid enrollees, states would be forced to either cut Medicaid benefits and/or restrict Medicaid eligibility further and/or cut other programs and/or raise taxes.