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What We're Reading: Iowa Tries to Leave ACA; Acting HHS Secretary; Buying Insurance Across State Lines


Iowa Seeks Waiver to Leave ACA

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is facing another critical test as a state tries to opt out of the law. According to The New York Times, Iowa has requested that the Trump administration allows the state to opt out of HealthCare.gov and create a state-run system. The idea is that the plan will help lower premiums, since Iowans buying an ACA plan are facing a steep premium increase for 2018. However, there are reports that President Donald Trump doesn’t want to approve the waiver and has reached out to HHS to order that it is rejected.

Acting HHS Secretary Named

After Tom Price, MD, resigned as HHS secretary at the end of September, a temporary replacement has been named. Eric Hargan is the new acting secretary of HHS, and is taking over for Don Wright, who had been filling the position since Price left, reported Bloomberg. Hargan once held the position of deputy secretary in HHS under President George W. Bush. He also served on Trump’s transition team and is a former corporate lawyer.

What Will Purchasing Across State Lines Accomplish?

Trump has indicated he is ready to sign an executive order that will allow people to buy health insurance across state lines, which is supposed to bring down the cost. Specifically, the order would allow the creation of associations, made up of consumers and small businesses, to buy health coverage. According to NPR, these health plans would not have to follow ACA regulations and would likely draw healthier people out of the marketplace. As a result, the population left to purchase ACA insurance would be sicker, which would increase premiums.

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