ACHP Media Monitoring Report: February 8, 2017

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ACHP in the news: ACHP President and CEO Ceci Connolly discussed the pace of a potential ACA replacement in Modern Healthcare.

HHS releases 2017 enrollment data for ACA
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released Affordable Care Act (ACA) health plan enrollment figures for 2017. The data reveal sign-ups slowed at the end of the enrollment period, and some areas saw a drop in total enrollment figures over the final weeks. The data do not include enrollments in state-run exchanges; HHS plans to release those figures in March. Jeff Overlay of HealthLaw360 reports.

Replacing the ACA
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) has suggested Republicans are having difficulty coalescing around a replacement plan for the ACA. When asked about the process, Corker stated “there’s not any real discussion taking place right now,” and that he had “no idea” when Republicans would have a replacement plan available. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has indicated he expects Republicans to have a proposal ready this year, notes Rebecca Savransky of The Hill.

The GOP appears to have narrowed down the replacement options to four plans. Each share common policy threads, although specifics vary among the proposals. All of the options would expand health savings accounts, create high-risk insurance pools, establish new tax credits to offset costs and include changes to Medicaid. Republicans seem to be most at odds over how to enact Medicaid reform, writes Jennifer Haberkorn of Politico.

Minnesota could set example for post-ACA health insurance
As states seek to manage their insurance markets in an uncertain landscape, Minnesota has implemented a few unique stabilization approaches. Mark Zdechlik of Minnesota Public Radio for Kaiser Health News shares the state has passed a bailout for individuals who do not qualify for tax credits, rejected an amendment to offer health plans without essential benefits and set the framework for a state public option.

Sanders, Cruz debate ACA, health care
Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) debated the future of the ACA last night. While the two senators mostly adhered to their positions during their 2016 presidential campaigns regarding the ACA, they also discussed other health care priorities, reports Dan Diamond at Politico. Sanders said he intends to introduce legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate with the pharmaceutical industry on prices, and Cruz advocated for Food and Drug Administration reforms.