ACHP Media Monitoring Report: December 21, 2016

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Note: The Media Monitoring Report will not be published Monday, December 26 through Monday, January 2. We will resume publication Tuesday, January 3.

Researchers copy ACA data
Concerned some government data on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may be expunged, researchers are downloading key documents. Information on how individuals use and pay for health services is necessary for administering the ACA and determining its success. According to researchers, that data may be helpful for both defending the ACA and crafting a replacement. Dan Diamond at Politico has the story.

CBO advocates for essential health benefits
Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysts said Tuesday they would not consider consumers with minimal insurance as covered under an Affordable Care Act alternative. According to the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation, plans for replacing the ACA that do not clearly outline the type of coverage consumers can purchase with tax credits may not meet their expectations for coverage. Insurers are required to cover 10 essential health benefits under the ACA. Some replacement options limit or eliminate these benefits, shifting power to states to determine what benefits must be included in health plans. Mary Ellen McIntire at Morning Consult reports.

CMS continues implementation of mandatory initiative
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued final regulations Tuesday for an initiative that mandates hospitals in 98 markets become financially accountable for quality of care and cost of bypass surgery and heart attacks. Critics assert CMS has overstepped by requiring participation in the randomly selected markets. Virgil Dickson at Modern Healthcare shares Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), who has been nominated to be Health and Human Services Secretary, is likely to end the initiative.

New York Mayor starts ACA enrollment effort
Come city officials are pushing enrollment in health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) despite rhetoric suggesting its repeal. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio aims to sign up 50,000 individuals by the end of next year. During a news conference Tuesday, de Blasio said enrolling the maximum number of individuals may make a repeal of the ACA more difficult. Mara Gay at The Wall Street Journal reports (subscriber’s content).

Consumers file motion to become party in ACA lawsuit
A group of individuals enrolled in health plans through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have filed a motion in federal court to become parties in a case know as House v. Burwell, which questions the legality of the implementation of the ACA. The consumers argue their interests will no longer be represented when the new administration takes office. Peter Sullivan of The Hill explains the lawsuit was brought by Republicans who assert reimbursement payments to health insurers offering discounts for low-income consumers under the ACA are unconstitutional.