ACHP Media Monitoring Report: May 23, 2017

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ACHP in the News: The Trump administration has asked for a delay in a federal lawsuit challenging cost-sharing subsidies, but has refused to commit to funding the subsidies long-term. ACHP President and CEO Ceci Connolly explains to Politico and Roll Call why insurers urgently need clarity from the administration on its plan for cost-sharing subsidies.

Trump targets health programs for cuts in latest budget
The Trump administration’s latest budget proposal recommends major cuts to federal health and entitlement programs. President Trump’s proposal includes $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid from the Republican health care bill and would also reduce spending on medical research at the NIH and National Cancer Institute. The President is required to submit a budget proposal, but the document is only a recommendation. Congress is responsible for drafting a final budget, and final spending often deviates from the President’s recommendations.

Senate action on CSRs bogged down by procedure and politics
Congress could pass legislation authorizing cost-sharing reduction payments, which would help stabilize the market. Republicans in Congress are unlikely to support a standalone piece of legislation authorizing the funding, as they are wary of taking action that could be seen as an act of support for the ACA. Senators have considered funding the subsidies in their draft legislation for health care reform, but would have to change the level of funding to avoid violating Senate rules requiring the bill to reduce the deficit.

Pre-existing conditions divide GOP Senators
Senate Republicans working on health care reform remain divided over how to handle protections for consumers with pre-existing conditions. Centrists want to retain some form of the protections at the federal level, but some conservatives want let states set their own standards. One potential compromise may let states apply for a waiver from the regulations if they automatically enroll their populations in health insurance.

Health care CEOs weigh in on alternative payment models
Modern Healthcare surveyed health care leaders on alternative payment models and found that 40 percent of CEOs expect revenue growth from ACOs within the next two to five years. Engaging physicians and staff and overhauling clinical processes were recognized as obstacles for implementing new payment models.

Tens of millions gained health coverage over past six years
Data from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that nearly 20 million more Americans had health insurance in 2016 than in 2010. Rates of uninsured declined in all age groups, though young adults were less likely to have insurance than adults aged 45 to 64. States that expanded Medicaid decreased the rate of uninsured by half. Previous research by The Urban Institute found that an estimated 19.2 million nonelderly people gained insurance between 2010 and 2015.