Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Senate moderates hold bipartisan health care talks


"The Republicans have literally locked the Democrats out of the negotiations over the Senate health care bill", Warren said. It finds that an estimated 3.8 million adults, or about 25 percent of all adult enrollees in the 2015 individual insurance market, had a declinable pre-existing condition that could subject them to higher premiums under an AHCA community rating waiver if they don't maintain continuous coverage.

Supporters of the House legislation point out their bill simply returns health coverage to an insurance-based footing.

During his presidency, Obama enhanced Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to expand coverage for more people.

Toomey, a member of the select 13-senator group working on a compromise bill, said reducing the funding in 2020 is "probably too sudden and problematic for some state budgets". It's different, they say, when it comes to healthcare.

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Caps in federal funding would force Florida to either spend more state money on the program, or more likely, Pearson said, ration healthcare for low-income children and their parents, pregnant women and the disabled - the only groups now eligible in Florida.

"It's been surprising to me how many people I've heard who, five years ago, wouldn't have said something like that", he said.

Bottom line: Under this version of the AHCA, insurers would still be required to cover individuals with pre-existing conditions - but they'd be allowed to charge astronomical amounts for coverage. They are scrambling to find solutions and Congressional action returning authority to the states is the solution.

As of the end of 2016, or three years into Medicaid expansion, Kentucky's uninsured rate had dropped to 7.4%, and Arkansas' was down to 11.7%.

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As an expert on health and wellness law, Zabawa recently co-authored a textbook on workplace wellness programs called, Rule the Rules of Workplace Wellness Programs. When there is an element of higher risk - and policyholders with pre-existing conditions increase the risk to the insurance provider - the insurance company is compensated for that risk in the form of higher rates. The more claims there are, the higher the rates go. But he said Senate Republicans are looking at other ways to deal with the issue than the House's approach. Some state governments have also subtly undermined their own coverage marketplaces in various ways-for instance, by allowing many residents to remain on old, pre-Obamacare plans, driving up the cost of new coverage.

"Any policy is not going to change the market overnight", he said.

"These are the ones insurers don't want", Pollitz says.

Kery Murakami is the CNHI Washington reporter.

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