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Time running out for health care bill
Senate Republicans are running short on time to finalize a health care bill before the Fourth of July recess. While it seems unlikely that lawmakers will be able to bridge the policy divides, Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) has said a bill will be on Trump’s desk by August. However, the Senate must still decide on how to lower premiums, when to cut ACA taxes and what year to roll back Medicaid expansion. Republicans can only afford to lose two votes, and several Republican lawmakers have criticized elements of the legislation.
Using data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, Axios released an interactive graphic illustrating the number of insurers in the ACA marketplaces since 2013. The map shows the increasing number of counties with only one insurer in the exchange.
Ad campaign targets five GOP senators on health care bill
A group that opposes the Republican health care plan is running a $1.5 million ad campaign in five states urging GOP Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dean Heller (R-NV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) to vote against the eventual bill. All five lawmakers have expressed concerns about the bill, and four of the five Senators represent states that expanded Medicaid.
Governors from both parties call for different approach to health care reform
A bipartisan group of governors is urging the Senate to overhaul the ACA instead of replacing it. The governors oppose the GOP health plan’s deep cuts to Medicaid and believe it threatens coverage for vulnerable Americans. The group is calling for a bipartisan solution to stabilize the individual market, provide states flexibility and ensure affordable coverage. The governors all represent states that expanded Medicaid.
Nevada governor vetoes Medicaid-for-all bill
Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-NV) has vetoed a bill that would have offered state-sponsored health insurance to all Nevada residents regardless of income. The measure proposed selling a Medicaid plan alongside private insurance options on the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange. Sandoval praised the bill’s sponsor for his creativity but decided there were too many unanswered questions about how the program would work. Sandoval was one of the few Republican governors to expand Medicaid under the ACA.
Cigna returns to MA and Part-D plans after sanctions
Cigna will be eligible to continue marketing and enrollment for its Medicare Advantage-Prescription Drug and Medicare Part D plans effective July 1, 2017. Last year, CMS sanctioned Cigna for denying coverage for medical services and blocked the company from participating in annual enrollment.
Chief Medical Officers address continuum of care
Modern Healthcare held a roundtable of CMOs to discuss changing roles and responsibilities in the shift to value-based care. Dr. Todd Shuman (Roper St. Francis Healthcare), Dr. Robert Jansen (Grady Health System) and Dr. Patrice Weiss (Carilion Clinic) spoke about changing the relationship between cost and care, engaging with physicians and navigating challenges in physician burnout and reimbursement policy.