What’s New in Health Care Reform

Top highlights this week include: Economic cost of opioid crisis about $504 billion, Obamacare mandate repeal may not deliver predicted blow, improper Medicare payments drop by nearly $5 billion, about a third of Americans unaware of Obamacare open enrollment, and ACA federal enrollment surges by at least 47% this year.

By Andy Tofilon • November 22, 2017

Top highlights this week include: Trump picks Alex Azar to lead Health and Human Services, Medicare plan to cut hospital readmission is tied to more deaths, Trump health agency challenges consensus on reducing costs, pace of sign-ups under Affordable Care Act blows past prior years, and growth in health care prices slows to near-historic low.

By Andy Tofilon • November 15, 2017

Top highlights this week include: CVS will offer next-day delivery of prescription drugs, ACA sign-ups spike at open enrollment’s start, House votes to repeal Obamacare’s Medicare cost-cutting board, Medicare scraps future pay model for home health companies, and White House Opioid Commission calls for wide-ranging changes to anti-drug policies.

By Andy Tofilon • November 8, 2017

Top highlights this week include: MNsure and insurers seeking more sign-ups, Trump administration proposes health law benefit changes, Trump declares the opioid crisis a public health emergency, the steady pace of health care deals, and some Affordable Care Act premiums set to jump for 2018.

By Andy Tofilon • November 1, 2017

Top highlights this week include: ACA enrollment schedule may lock millions into unwanted health plans, administration sends mixed signals on state health insurance waivers, Democratic officials seek fast rescue for Obamacare payments, competition among health insurers is shrinking, and few changes in Medicare plans for 2018.

By Andy Tofilon • October 25, 2017

Top highlights this week include: Gov. Dayton signs agreement for “reinsurance” program; end to health care subsidies puts Congress in a tight spot; the value of hospitals’ tax exemptions; hospital group warns Trump’s executive order could weaken insurance markets; and with ACA in limbo, insurers brace for drop in enrollment.

By Andy Tofilon • October 18, 2017

Top highlights this week include: Many people paying full price for insurance, patients and health insurers challenge Iowa’s privatized Medicaid, White House plans order to expand health care options, Trump’s cuts to health law enrollment efforts, and Republicans privately admit defeat on Obamacare repeal.

By Andy Tofilon • October 11, 2017

Top highlights this week include: FDA chief says agency will take action to lower drug prices; premiums declining, steady for plans via MNsure; Hawaii has best health care in America; Trump preparing executive order to let Americans purchase health insurance across state lines; and health insurers stay in ACA despite fears of last-minute exits.

By Andy Tofilon • October 4, 2017

Top highlights this week include: Feds approve Minnesota program for lower premiums, studying 1 million people to end cookie-cutter health care, changes to Medicare could mean higher costs for patients, mental health specialists hard to find in networks, and America’s opioid epidemic.

By Andy Tofilon • September 27, 2017

Top highlights this week include: Republicans demand another vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Medicare will mail new cards to 60 million people, bill passed to build telehealth coverage into Medicare Advantage plans, Trump is making Obamacare premiums more expensive, and uninsured rate in Minnesota drops to 4.1%.

By Andy Tofilon • September 20, 2017

Top highlights this week include: What the Senate has in mind for the ACA’s “innovation waivers,” Senate GOP accepting defeat on Obamacare repeal, Senate panel eyes federal money and state flexibility to stabilize ACA, insurance regulators want Obamacare reinsurance funds, and uninsured rate fell in 2016 as more people aged into Medicare.

By Andy Tofilon • September 13, 2017

Top highlights this week include: Bipartisan governors’ group shares plan to shore up Obamacare; Trump Administration sharply cuts spending on health law enrollment; industry groups push for repeal or delay of two Affordable Care Act taxes; some states to extend Obamacare sign-up beyond federal limit; and Trump ends DACA, calls on Congress to act.

By Andy Tofilon • September 6, 2017

Top highlights this week include: Employer plans join Obamacare in narrowing doctor networks for 2018, Congress facing deadline to renew health care for children, Iowa submits final request to shore up Obamacare markets, Senate panel plans hearings on girding health insurance, and Republicans face looming deadline on health law.

By Andy Tofilon • August 30, 2017