Federal Actions Cause Further Erosion of Individual Market Stability

Stacey Pogue

The Texas Health Insurance Marketplace and the individual market more broadly became less stable in 2017 as some high-profile insurers exited the market and others increased rates. Premiums for the “benchmark” plan (the second-lowest cost silver plan) in the Marketplace increased 11.7 percent in 2017 in Texas and 21.3 percent nationally. Studies have pointed to […]

In Shroud of Secrecy, Senate Will Not Make Health Care Repeal Bill Much Less “Mean”

Stacey Pogue

The U.S. Senate plans to vote on a health care repeal bill next week that has been crafted in secret.  The Senate inherited a terrible bill (American Health Care Act, AHCA) from the House that even President Trump now admits is “mean, mean, mean.”  Despite initial claims that the Senate would start over with a […]

New Analysis of U.S. House Health Care Repeal Proves How Damaging It Would Be

Stacey Pogue

Today the independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its “score” of the U.S. House-passed health care repeal bill. Earlier this month the House took the short-sighted and unusual step of voting to pass the “American Health Care Act” before the CBO scored it, and now we can see why. The score reveals terrible news that […]

Surprise Medical Billing Bill Signed Into Law

Stacey Pogue

Yesterday Gov. Abbott signed SB 507 into law, improving consumer protections related to surprise medical billing. Surprise out-of-network medical bills, sometimes called “balance bills,” happen when insurers and doctors fighting over prices jointly pass the buck to a patient who received out-of-network care unknowingly. The Texas Legislature has worked to address surprise medical bills consistently […]

Remembering the Bad Old Days of High-Risk Pools

Stacey Pogue

There seems to be a lot of nostalgia among lawmakers for “high-risk pools” these days. In the past, high-risk pools offered high-cost health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions who would have been denied standard coverage by insurers. First, the latest amendment to the federal health care repeal bill would let states gut coverage guarantees […]

ACA Repeal Scheme is Back with a New, Terrible Twist

Stacey Pogue

Media outlets are reporting that two members of Congress – the leaders of the far-right Freedom Caucus and the moderate Tuesday Group, both composed of Republican members—have agreed to an amendment for the stalled U.S. House’s Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) repeal bill. The amendment would make a bad bill worse by gutting protections […]

New ACA Marketplace Rules, Good for Insurance Companies Bad for Consumers

Melissa McChesney

On April 13, 2017 the Department of Health and Human Services released its final “marketplace stabilization” rule. (You may remember that we blogged about the proposed rules when they were released in February.) Regardless of that title, the Marketplace showed signs of stabilization in 2016 under current law. The administration could have capitalized on that progress but instead these rules just fulfill […]

How the ACA Fights the Opioid Epidemic

Every day, on average, 78 Americans die from opioid abuse.[1] But did you know that the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obamacare) has been the key way that states have developed tools to fight the opioid epidemic across America? The ACA’s expansion of healthcare coverage—including benefits for prevention, treatment and harm reduction—continues to help lessen the epidemic and save lives. […]

Administration, Congress Considering More Damaging New Twist on ACA Repeal: Texas Implications

Stacey Pogue

Media reports indicate that President Trump and Congressional Republicans are working to revive their bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with the same harmful provisions plus two new ones. States would be able to opt out of “essential health benefits” and the requirement that health plans not charge people more because they are […]

Repeal Bill Threatens Texas Medicaid

Anne Dunkelberg

Last week’s Congressional Budget Office (CBO) official “score” for the House’s ACA Repeal bill found that it would cut Medicaid spending by 880 billion over 10 years, with 14 million fewer Americans receiving Medicaid coverage in 2026 than under current federal law. The bill also slashes today’s tax credit subsidies for health insurance by 44%, […]