The Alan Katz Health Care Reform Magazine

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

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 …

Health Care

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 …

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 …

Health Care

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, …

Health Care

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 …

Health Care

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 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 …

Health Care

Maryland governor signs federal all-payer health contract

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed a contract with the federal government on Monday to enact the state's unique all-payer health care model, which he said will create incentives to improve care while saving money.<p>Hogan signed the five-year contract along with the administrator …

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 …

Health Care

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 …

Health Care

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 …

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 …

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 …

Health Care

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

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 executive branch’s tradition of arguing to uphold existing statutes and a land mine for health insurance changes the …

Health Care

Price Check On Drug Ads: Would Revealing Costs Help Patients Control Spending?

President Donald Trump wants to control spending on drugs. One of his big ideas: include prices in advertisements, just like warnings about side …

CMS Launches New System to Measure State Medicaid Performance

Scorecards will initially focus heavily on metrics that states already voluntarily report<p>Federal health officials on Monday unveiled a new system to …

Trump's new insurance rules are panned by nearly every healthcare group that submitted formal comments

More than 95% of healthcare groups that have commented on President Trump’s effort to weaken Obama-era health insurance rules criticized or outright opposed the proposals, according to a Times review of thousands of official comment letters filed with federal agencies.<p>The extraordinary one-sided …

Health Care

Single-Payer Is Becoming Litmus Test For Democrats, But Reality Is Far More Complicated Than Rhetoric

California's gubernatorial race is acting as a microcosm of the larger push toward universal health care. But, experts say the issue is complicated. …