Republicans Propose New ACA Fix
A new, more conservative plan to stabilize the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s insurance markets will compete with the bipartisan legislation proposed in the Senate. According to Reuters
, the plan from Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Representative Kevin Brady, R-Texas, would guarantee subsidy payments to insurers, but would repeal the individual and employer mandates. It would also include abortion restrictions. While the bipartisan bill introduced earlier is expected to have 60 votes in the Senate, it is unclear if it could pass the House or if the president would sign it into law if it reached his desk.
Massachusetts Stabilization Request Rejected
The request for a special fund to help stabilize Massachusetts insurance rates has been rejected by the federal government. The state wants to use the fund to prevent a spike in premiums and argued that it could save the federal government money, reported The Boston Globe.
Although CMS denied the waiver on the grounds that there was not enough time to carry out the request, the state plans to consider filing the request against next year. In the meantime, premiums for plans sold on the state’s individual marketplace are expected to increase 24%.
New York Bans e-Cigarettes in Workplaces
A new statewide rule would ban the use of electronic cigarettes in bars, restaurants, and most workplaces. The New York Times reported
that the ban is already in place in New York City and certain other localities, and the state already prohibits the use of e-cigarettes in public and private schools. In addition, other states, such as California, Connecticut, and New Jersey, have already added e-cigarettes to their smoking bans. New York’s law goes into effect in 30 days.