The Alan Katz Health Care Reform Magazine

By Alan Katz | The policies and politics surrounding health care reform in a Donald Trump world.

Public Opinion on Single-Payer, National Health Plans, and Expanding Access to Medicare Coverage

Kaiser Family Foundation has been tracking public opinion on the idea of a national health plan and finds a modest recent increase in support for a …

Health Care

Senators Unveil Legislation To Protect Patients Against Surprise Medical Bills

With frustration growing among Americans who are being charged exorbitant prices for medical treatment, a bipartisan group of senators Tuesday …

Health Care

UC Berkeley study finds link between hospital consolidation, higher prices for patients

A UC Berkeley study published in September found increasing hospital consolidation in California has been associated with significant increases in …

Health Care

Senate Republicans Move to Defend Popular ACA Provision

Bill would ban insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, but comes with caveats<p>A group of Republican senators is moving to defend part of the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions, putting the lawmakers at odds with the Trump …

Health Care

Alphabet invests $375 million in health insurance start-up Oscar

Alphabet Inc. is putting $375 million into health insurance start-up Oscar Health, the latest healthcare investment from Google’s parent company.<p>Oscar — which has been selling health plans under the Affordable Care Act since 2013 — plans to use the funds to help fuel its entrance into the lucrative …

Nothing free about Canada’s ‘free’ health-care system: Fraser report

A typical Canadian family of four will pay a staggering $12,935 for health care in 2018, a new Fraser Institute report suggests.And our health-care …

Does Bernie Sanders’s health plan cost $33 trillion — or save $2 trillion?

Congressional Republicans seized on a new study Monday estimating that a universal health-care plan by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) would cost the federal government $33 trillion by 2031, arguing that it proves Democrats have moved too far left.<p>Sanders, looking at the same study, says it shows his …

House votes to delay Obamacare insurance tax, loosen health savings accounts restrictions

The House of Representatives voted Wednesday on bills to delay an Affordable Care Act tax and allow consumers broader use of health savings accounts.<p>In a 242-176 vote, House Republicans joined one dozen Democrats to support a bill that would postpone the health insurance tax through 2021. The tax, …

Labor Dept. Health Rule Faces Legal Challenge From 12 States (1)

The Labor Department violated federal rulemaking procedures when it expanded small business access to group health insurance, 12 state attorneys …

Government shuts down website for doctors searching for treatment guidelines

<b>(CNN) —</b> After Monday, the website for the National Guideline Clearinghouse, which provides access to guidelines for practicing medicine, will no longer be available to its users -- mostly doctors -- due to a lack of funding, according to an announcement posted on the site in April.<p>No stranger to …

Health Care

HHS Plans to Delete 20 Years of Critical Medical Guidelines Next Week

The Trump Administration is planning to eliminate a vast trove of medical guidelines that for nearly 20 years has been a critical resource for …

Trump Administration

Trump administration cuts grants to help people get Obamacare

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration is cutting most of the funds previously provided to groups that help people get health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and will push them to promote plans lacking the law's benefits and protections, a government agency said on Tuesday.<p>Under …

Maryland governor signs federal all-payer health contract

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has signed a contract with the federal government to enact the state's unique all-payer health care model.<p>Hogan signed the five-year contract Monday with Seema Verma, who is the administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid …

Health Care

Paul Ryan's Budget Cuts Children's Hospitals At The Wrong Time

The nation’s children’s hospitals would see drastic reductions in funding for their patients if the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives’ proposed budget passes, hitting pediatric facilities already facing payments that are shifting away from inpatient care.<p>An alarm bell for the future …

Trump administration freezes billions in Obamacare payments, outraging advocates

The Trump administration is freezing billions of dollars of payments to Obamacare health insurers, another blow to the fragile markets as health plans begin to set premiums and get ready for the next enrollment season.<p>The so-called risk adjustment payments are supposed to protect insurers from big …

Health Care

Read The Fine Print Before Picking An Association Plan For Your Small Business

If you own a restaurant, plumbing company or other small business, you may be intrigued by the expected expansion of association health plans under a new rule that got a stamp of approval from the Trump administration last week.<p>Will they meet your needs? Save you money?<p>Those are important questions …

Health Care

‘You Can’t Have Perfection’: Lawmakers Who Forged ACA Look Back

Former Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and former Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and George Miller (D-Calif.) and retiring Rep. …

Atul Gawande's Aim For Health Care: 'Make It Simpler To Do The Right Thing'

Dr. Atul Gawande, the surgeon-writer-researcher chosen to lead a joint health venture by three prominent employers who hope to bring down health costs, says his biggest goal is to help professionals "make it simpler to do the right thing" in delivering care to patients.<p>Gawande elaborated a bit on …

Sky-High Deductibles Broke the U.S. Health Insurance System

When Carla Jordan and her husband were hit with a cascade of serious medical issues, she knew that at least her family had health insurance through …

Health Care

Is Statewide Single-Payer Feasible, or Is It Just California Dreamin'?

California’s leading progressives are currently debating — amicably, for the moment — when the right time will arrive to destroy the state’s healthcare system.<p>The frontrunner in the race for the governor’s mansion, current Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, has long championed single-payer health …

DOL Releases Final Regulation Expanding Association Health Plans

Article By Jean C. Hemphill Edward I. Leeds Ballard Spahr LLPLegal AlertsThe U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on Tuesday released final regulations …

The Bezos-Buffett-Dimon health care venture: Eliminate the middlemen

The new health care venture formed by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase announced June 20 that Harvard professor and well-known author …

Feds say health mergers would increase costs, threaten care

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — The U.S. government is suing to stop two major health insurance mergers, a move regulators say is needed to protect Americans from potential cost hikes and lower quality care.<p>The Department of Justice said Thursday that the combinations of Aetna and Humana and Anthem and …

Health Care

Trump administration to allow businesses, individuals to band together for health insurance

Small businesses and individual workers will be allowed to band together to provide medical coverage that will be less expensive than Obamacare …

Insurers Not Owed Risk Corridor Payments

On June 14, 2018, a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued an opinion in <i>Moda Health Plan v. United States</i>. By a 2-1 …

Costs are rising for employer-sponsored insurance — again

If you're one of the majority of health-care consumers who purchase insurance through your employer, you know that premium increases and rising …

Pre-existing Conditions and Medical Underwriting in the Individual Insurance Market Prior to the ACA

Before private insurance market rules in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect in 2014, health insurance sold in the individual market in most …

Where Does Your Health Care Dollar Go?

Your premium—how much you pay for your health insurance coverage each month—helps cover the costs of the medications and care you receive. It also …

Trump administration won’t defend ACA in case brought by GOP states

By Amy Goldstein<p>Amy Goldstein<p>Reporter covering health-care policy and other social policy issues<p>Email Bio Follow<p>The Trump administration said Thursday night that it will not defend the Affordable Care Act against the latest legal challenge to its constitutionality — a dramatic break from the …

Trump Administration