ACHP Media Monitoring Report: December 7, 2016

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Presidential Transition Brief
Until inauguration on January 20, ACHP will provide updates on the presidential transition.

– President-elect Donald Trump has selected retired General John Kelly of the Marine Corps as Secretary of Homeland Security.

AHIP asks for later deadline
America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) is urging lawmakers to delay the deadline for 2018 individual insurance submissions to regulators. The organization hopes a later due date will bring some clarity for insurers about the future of the Affordable Care Act. Medicare, Medicaid and the exchanges are also under discussion among AHIP and senators. Caroline Humer at Reuters has the story.

Health insurers seek to lessen effect of ACA repeal
Facing a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), insurers are asking Republicans to keep several aspects of the health law. Insurers would like the Trump administration to commit to helping low-income people afford health coverage and continue to encourage young and healthy individuals to sign up for plans. Hospital groups have also cautioned Republicans about the effects of ACA replacement, asserting cuts to hospital funding would need to be restored to avoid financial consequences. Reed Abelson of The New York Times reports.

McConnell: First order of business for new Senate will be ACA repeal
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) plans to schedule a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as the first vote of the Senate next year. Republicans are pushing for repeal without a replacement plan. Reports indicate GOP leaders plan to draft and implement a plan over the next three years. Senate Democrats vow to fight the repeal of the ACA, writes Alexander Bolton of The Hill.

No consensus in GOP on ACA replacement deadline
Republicans remain divided on the timeframe for phasing out and drafting a replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Hardline conservatives are calling for a shorter window to undo the effects of the ACA as quickly as possible; others believe the complexity of the law calls for a longer timeframe. Vice President-elect Mike Pence was deferential and noncommittal in a meeting Tuesday with Senate Republicans, according to Burgess Everett and Jennifer Haberkorn of Politico. Most expect the Trump administration to favor a hardline approach due to the influence of incoming Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

Hospitals warn public health at risk with ACA repeal
Two hospital trade groups are warning President-elect Donald Trump repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could cost hospitals hundreds of millions of dollars and trigger public health crises. The American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals cite an independent study and Congressional Budget Office numbers as evidence a repeal could result in the loss of coverage for millions of Americans, prompting a flood of uninsured patients and budgetary shortfalls. If the law is repealed, hospitals are asking the government to also restore payment models used before the ACA passed for hospital care of Medicare and Medicaid patients. Amy Goldstein with The Washington Post has the story.

Employees turn to gap insurance plans
As employees pay more out-of-pocket for health care, employers are offering insurance plans to help offset the cost of co-pays and high deductibles. Gap insurance policies allow individuals to expand coverage offered by an employer to include hospital stays, acute illnesses or accidents. Rachel Emma Silverman at The Wall Street Journal shares a recent survey of employers finds at least half of respondents offered gap insurance during 2017 open enrollment (subscriber’s content).