What We're Reading: ACA Protections in GOP-Led States; Insurer Payments in Play; Kavanaugh's Role in Medicare Case
Individuals in GOP-Led States Have Most to Lose if ACA Protections Go Away
Residents of the 20 Republican-led states that are challenging the Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s protections for people with preexisting medical conditions have the most to lose if the case is decided in the states' favor, Kaiser Health News reported
. Those states challenged the constitutionality of the ACA in federal court in February. In June, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice made the unusual decision not to defend key portions of the law against this legal challenge. Nine of the 11 states have the highest rates of preexisting conditions among adults under 65.
House Ways and Means Chair Trying to Restart ACA Payments in HHS Talks
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, is in talks with HHS about ways to restart ACA payments that the administration abruptly suspended this month, The Hill reported
. The Trump administration’s suspension of $10.4 billion in payments to insurers this month set off warnings of rising premiums and outrage from Democrats who said it was further evidence that the GOP is trying to undermine the ACA.
Kavanaugh Ruled Against HHS Shortly Before Supreme Court Nomination in Medicare Case
Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s choice for the Supreme Court, ruled in June in a federal appeals court case that paved the way for hospitals to seek more money from Medicare, based on evidence that the government has been using faulty data to calculate costs since 1983, The New York Times reported
. The federal government tried to bar their claims, saying hospitals should not be able to challenge factual determinations made many years ago. But the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed with the hospitals, saying Medicare’s policy would require “the perpetual use of even demonstrably erroneous” information.