AHCA Is Alive, Again
Although the GOP House leadership had to pull the American Health Care Act (AHCA) last month when it became clear there weren’t enough votes to pass the legislation, the bill isn’t quite dead. A deal between the conservative House Freedom Caucus and the moderate Tuesday Group could get AHCA through the House. The amendment to the bill would let states apply for a waiver to eliminate the community rating, allowing insurers to charge more for people with preexisting conditions, and reinstate the essential health benefits that had been taken out of the AHCA.
New York Proposes Raising Cigarette Price
The base price of a pack of cigarettes could increase to $13 in New York City. The proposal from Mayor Bill de Blasio is part of a series of initiatives to reduce tobacco use, reported The New York Times. A pack of cigarettes currently costs $10.50 at minimum and the hope is that the price increase could persuade up to 900,000 New Yorkers to stop smoking by 2020. De Blasio is also looking to significantly reduce the number of stores that can sell tobacco products by reducing the number of licenses to retailers.
South Carolina Seeks $37M for ACA Risk Corridor
South Carolina is suing the federal government over risk corridor payments under the Affordable Care Act that it claims it is owed. Healthcare Finance reported that the state says the government owes $37 million in payments after it withheld funds that caused South Carolina’s co-op to collapse. If the government does not pay, taxpayers will have to cover the $37 million bill.